Last week, I posted two articles here on why DIRECTV has lost as many as six million subscribers since being purchased by AT&T, and whether AT&T will end the bleeding by selling the satcaster to the highest bidder.
The two stories have generated an outpouring of comments (more than 80 as of this morning) from readers, most of whom are current or past DIRECTV customers who are dissatisfied with AT&T’s stewardship of the satellite TV service.
However, ‘dissatisfied’ may be an inappropriately weak description of their sentiment. Bitter. Angry. Livid. Those are certainly more accurate ways to describe how many DIRECTV customers are feeling these days.
The comments over the last several days are reflective of reader responses to previous articles I’ve written about DIRECTV’s decline. The deep-rooted animosity that many DIRECTV customers seem to have for AT&T does not bode well for AT&T continuing to run the company.
In my 30 years of covering television, I’ve never seen one company generate so much scorn from its audience, not even the large cable TV companies whose monopolistic practices in the 1980s and 90s outraged so many.
I thought it would be interesting to post some of the more interesting reader comments from the last several days to give you a perspective of what AT&T and DIRECTV face in the weeks and months ahead.
AT&T Is Losing
“I COULD WRITE A BOOK but in ONE and ONLY ONE take? AT&T !! (T-H-E most incompetent morons on the entire planet) THE GAME IS SOOOOOO OVER for AT&T !!” wrote ‘Dave.’ “I have been in the satellite TV and PCO biz for 40 years and can assure you I FORGOT more then AT&T knows about that business they bought with MONEY they STOLD from MILLIONS of ppl over the DECADES because of the need for a LAND LINE TELEPHONE (which is of course DEAD now) THIS is JUST the TIP of the ICEBERG but let me end with saying that there are THOUSANDS of us out here that work DAILY to END AT&T as quickly s possible and…WE ARE WINNING !!”
Streaming Isn’t the Answer
“That’s exactly right,” says ‘Glenn Huggins.’ “I work for AT&T and they’re a bunch of idiots. And probably what has killed DIRECTV is the fact that they own them because so many people hate AT&T. Plus their customer service screwed the number one customer in the business. Now I realize a lot of people are streaming these days but where I live in rural Alabama satellite tv is your only option because you can’t get decent internet.”
Wants AT&T to Go Bankrupt
“I was a Tmobile customer back in the day when I heard that AT&T was going to buy the company,” writes ‘Jeffrey Bernardi.’ “Because of past experience with AT&T’s customer service I dumped my Tmobile for Verizon. I have been a customer of DirecTV for over 20 years. I really enjoyed DirecTV up until AT&T purchased it. AT&T is the world’s worst company. I hate everything about them. Absolutely not customer oriented or concerned about customer satisfaction. I hope they go bankrupt. I have never hated a company so much.
AT&T Ruined DIRECTV
“Well when you can’t get anyone to answer the phone after waiting 30 to 45 min.on hold, it tends to lead to pure frustration,” says ‘Dan Walters.’ “I know some that (I) dropped them. Just for that. And why can’t you get anything done in the AT&T stores. After all, they own direct T.V. They should have never purchased direct T.V. They’ve ruined it.”
She’s Dropping DIRECTV
“My package keeps dropping channels but my bill doesn’t go down. Instead of offering better deals and upgrades to long time users all the deals are for new customers only so I’m dropping my direct tv and going to a different provider,” writes ‘Missy.’
She Has Dropped DIRECTV
“We dropped them as well. Nothing was the same. We have Spectrum as well as Roku, Hulu, and Netflix and it is still cheaper then what AT&T was costing,” says ‘Brenda Oakes.’
AT&T Ran It Into the Ground
“It’s a no brainer,” says ‘B. Klein.’ “The problem with Directv is AT&T and horrible customer service. I was a long time Directv customer until AT&T bought it and ran it into the ground by treating their customers like crap…”
AT&T Gutted It; He Worked For DIRECTV
“I worked for DirecTV for over 7 years as an installer and a customer since 1997.
I for one can tell you when AT&T took over the first thing they did was farm out our award winning customer service to overseas vendors. Premium subscribers expect a top notch customer experience and (pre-AT&T DIRECTV CEO) Mike White made sure we did provided just that. AT&T gutted the best thing DirecTV had going,” writes ‘Vance.’
Won’t Get Streaming From AT&T
“I guarantee that if I am forced onto a streaming service, it won’t be with AT&T or SlingTV!” says ‘B. Coleman.’
Will Never Consider AT&T Again
“We dropped DIrecTV after 24 years because of their relentless rate hikes, poor customer service, and they stopped supporting the standard definition equipment, while offering no viable solution for travelers,” writes ‘Leland Fox.’ “We’re in our Airstream more than we are at home. Their apathy and arrogance was astounding. We went with Dish Network. High Def on the road, and low cost hardware at half the price. Streaming is nice, but we go to places where there is no connectivity. Even when connectivity is available, it’s not sufficient for streaming. I will never consider AT&T for anything in the future.”
If you would like to comment on what AT&T should do with DIRECTV, the Comments box is below this article.
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— Phillip Swann