Ma Bell is either senile or has a death wish. Either way, AT&T
"AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and free Wi-Fi even hotter, which is why we are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots," the ad read, according to Wired News.
It appears that writer Brian X. Chen couldn't get a detailed explanation for the abrupt switcheroo. Two different AT&T spokespeople gave him the same answer, word for word. "Clearly, they were both reading from the same script," Chen wrote.
Right, Brian. Except it's worse than that: In my opinion, they were literally reading from a script. I'd bet money on it. I wrote dozens of scripts to cover very similar corporate gaffes during my dozen or so years in the PR biz.
But AT&T's screw-up is as bad as anything I ever dealt with as an insider. It shows a lack of understanding of how close AT&T is to being disintermediated, a dot-com era verb that means "to be cut out of the transaction." I'm doing it every time I use my home Wi-Fi connection to make calls via the rebellious Truphone software.
And let's be clear: Apple
AT&T, on the other hand, has a vested interest in keeping iPhoners on its networks, whatever form they take. It's only the way to get a slice of the revenue that comes with added services.
Brrrriiiing! It's related Foolishness calling:
Contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. When not typing up articles for Fool.com, you'll find him picking growth stocks as a member of the Rule Breakers team.
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