Top technology executives apparently have decided it’s fair game — and smart business strategy — to ridicule DIRECTV Now in public

AT&T’s new live streaming service has been riddled with technical errors since its launch on November 30. Countless DIRECTV Now subscribers have begged the service for solutions to the snafus, and asked for refunds if none can be found. (Thus far, few solutions and no refunds.).

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The technical problems triggered a slew of stories by the nation’s tech press and that ultimately led to the executives pulling a few poisoned arrows out of their quiver and taking aim.

First, it was Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch who has used his Twitter account to urge dissatisfied DIRECTV Now customers to switch to his live streaming service. Lynch mocked DIRECTV Now’s inability to deliver a reliable and smooth stream, although Sling TV has had its own technical problems since its launch two years.

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And today, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said his company was giving a free year of Hulu to customers who recently switched from AT&T to T-Mobile to take advantage of a T-Mobile promotion that included a free year of DIRECTV Now.

Legere apologized for the DIRECTV Now promotion, saying the service doesn’t work.

John J. Legere
T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

“It’s turns out DIRECTV Now is barely watchable, but we’ve got our customers’ backs,” Legere says in a T-Mobile press release. “So, every former AT&T customer who took us up on our offer now gets a free year of Hulu on us – and they get to enjoy it on a faster, more advanced network with unlimited data! Even I can’t believe AT&T spent $67 billion on DIRECTV and still couldn’t roll out a streaming service that worked!”

On Twitter today, Legere went a step further by taunting AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson who last week said DIRECTV Now has been “very strong” since its launch.

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“Are you as excited as I am to see what they say about failing as I am?!,” Legere tweeted in reference to AT&T’s scheduled conference call today with analysts to discuss the company’s fourth quarter report.

AT&T has yet to respond to Legere’s remarks, but company executives will likely to address it later today in the conference call.

— Phillip Swann