It's time for another dip into the reader mailbag. First item on the agenda: the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
I got a lot of feedback from readers about my recent anti-AT&T rant ("AT&T drags T-Mobile into the pit of despair"), which I can summarize in two words: AT&T sucks. So far, that is the unanimous opinion of everyone who's sent me an email or commented on my post.
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Reader A. J. R. detailed an experience similar to mine -- choosing a cell provider that was acquired by AT&T, then picking T-Mobile as his personal service provider, only to be drawn back into AT&T's web:
At my employer, going without a cell phone/smartphone is not an option. At home, however, I have some control. After discussing the situation with my wife, we're both concerned about losing T-Mobile's low-cost plans (we had priced AT&T as a carrier once before, and their plans were far too expensive for the level of service we wanted). If AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile is approved, we're ready to go without personal cell phones rather than join the AT&T collective (and risk a monthly visit by highwaymen disguised as a mobile phone bill).
Cringester T. K. puts his anti-AT&T angst in more dramatic terms:
I freaked when I found out AT&T was going to rape, pillage, and plunder T-Mobile customers. I've been singing the T-jingle to my friend and coworkers for years. They are one of the best tech companies out there. I had a great cell company. Now I got nothing. Thanks AT&T for ruining my life.
Reader S. F. took it upon himself to create a "Save T-Mobile" Facebook page protesting the merger, while K. R. corrects my telecom history -- AT&T didn't acquire Cingular, exactly:
Cingular was 60 percent owned by SBC, 40 percent owned by Bell South. SBC bought AT&T and Bell South in a short period, and then took the AT&T name as its own, since it bought AT&T. The company that runs AT&T Mobile is still the same that ran it when it was Cingular. There is just no longer the separation between them and those that make decisions on the wireline side.
I stand corrected. However, I maintain that Cingular service degraded noticeably after the acquisition, so somebody somewhere was making stupid decisions.