AT&T apologises for threatening customer

American phone company AT&T has apologised for threatening legal action after a customer e-mailed its CEO twice.

The incident occured when AT&T customer Giorgio Galante sent two e-mails to Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, over a period of two weeks, complaining about not being able to upgrade to the next version of the iPhone and general discontent with the company.

Galante’s first e-mail revealed that he would have to wait until March 2011 to get an upgrade, which he was not happy with considering he was paying $110 per month, $80 on the iPhone and $30 on the iPad. He complained about the delay of tethering and the price hike for ETFs to $325 for new contracts. He asked if his upgrade eligibility date could be bumped up to the iPhone 4G launch day and said he may leave AT&T and join Sprint instead, dropping the Apple products for Android equivalents, if AT&T did not give him a compelling reason to stay.

He got a cordial e-mail response from someone going by the name Brent saying that they could not upgrade his eligibility date due to contractual problems with Apple. The disillusioned Galante responed with a few complaints about 3G usage and said he’d be soon leaving AT&T.

Little did he know he would then receive a voicemail from the same Brent threatening Galante that if he e-mailed the AT&T CEO again the company would bring the legal guys in to send him a cease and desist order. 

After Galante blogged about the experience and it received some media coverage he received an apology from a Senior VP at AT&T and an offer to do anything to keep him as a customer, which is certainly a complete reversal from the earlier stance taken. If only that had been the original response.

Galante had been a customer of AT&T for two years, joining for the iPhone 3G, which AT&T had exclusivity on, but despite the apology he received he is now leaving them for Sprint. He said: “So in the end, I’m definitely switching to the HTC Evo, and cancelling my iPhone & iPad 3G AT&T services – I don’t want to give my money to a company that is bothered by its customers, and threatens them legally to prove it.”