Letter to AT&T President Randall Stephenson Regarding Customer Service

In Open Letter on September 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

September 9, 2013

Randall L. Stephenson
Chairman of the Board, CEO and President
AT&T Inc.
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75202

Dear President Stephenson:

As a long time customer of AT&T Inc., and as 1 of your 107.9 million wireless subscribers as of June 30, 2013, I just wanted to make you aware of great service my wife, baby and I received last week from one employee working out of your Atlanta stores.

Recently, my Motorola phone broke after years of use. As a result, I had been looking for a replacement phone with comparable capabilities over a two-day Odyssey. It turns out, maybe unsurprisingly, that my particular phone model was no longer available in the first location we traveled to on the first day of searching. Therefore, the next day we tried out a different location near Lenox Square mall in North Atlanta. No such phone was available there either, which I was aware of in advance; however, Matthew Clark, a retail sales consultant in the Lenox Square store, helped me through surveying the nearest replacement options.

Over the next while, he explained the different Apple iPhone options. He explained the features across the available iPhones on display, along with the different purchase plans, etc. and even demonstrated his personal iPhone 4. He also checked our family’s prior two-month data usage levels in order to see if some savings could be better accounted for in the process.

Unfortunately, judging from what Mr. Clark was able to make out from the store inventory, the iPhone 4 — which offered me and my family the cheapest two-year plan option of all the iPhones available (we like many families are on a tight budget) — happened to be out of stock in that particular store.

At that point, my family and I were about to wait it out for another inventory shipment of iPhones to arrive; however, then I noticed my wife growing in irritation with baby roaming roguely through the store and I figured to look around a bit more broadly. This time I noticed a different brand option available for a similarly cheap price. Mr. Clark, obviously enthralled with the iPhone in his possession and my interest in possibly becoming a first-time owner of an Apple product, said to wait just a moment and not to settle for that different phone option that was more catered for Facebook users. He then disappeared to the back of the store again only to return with a new black Apple iPhone 4 that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Abraham Bradbury would have appreciated for its elegance.

I have never been an Apple owner, but thanks to Mr. Clark he was able to come up with a phone answer for me.

Mr. Clark and I agreed that his personal book-style iPhone case (he was then using to hold his iPhone and wallet material) would likely be a popular seller in your Atlanta stores and other stores if and when stocked. By consequence, your company’s “Equipment and other” revenue would likely be boosted well beyond $3.1 billion per mid-year.

I look forward to Matthew Clark doing well in your company if given a wider voice and/or succeeding elsewhere in Atlanta.

Labor omnia vincit.


James Breedlove

Cc: Timothy D. Cook, CEO, Apple Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014


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