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AT&T responds to 'false and misleading' Verizon ads

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
AT&T has issued a note to its customers disputing claims made in Verizon's latest string of advertisements, over which the two companies are now engaged in a lawsuit.

"As the U.S. market leader in wireless data service, we typically don't respond to competitors' advertising," AT&T began its letter, entitled 'AT&T sets the Record Straight on Verizon Ads.' "However, some recent ads from Verizon are so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage."

It goes on to explain that AT&T's wireless data network reaches nearly all of the U.S. population, and details the differences between 3G, EDGE and GPRS data connections.

It's another example of AT&T becoming proactive, and stepping up its efforts to portray its network in a positive light in the face of Verizon's attacks.

The letter follows Thursday's news that AT&T has amended its federal complaint against competitor Verizon Wireless, seeking a restraining order against holiday season ads that have attacked its network and described the iPhone as "misfit" because of poor 3G coverage. Previously, AT&T had filed a complaint against other Verizon ads that criticized its network, using the tagline "There's a map for that."

AT&T has argued, as it did again in its newly published letter, that Verizon's advertisements are misleading, suggesting to users with maps of coverage that blank areas represent no signal whatsoever. Verizon's maps demonstrating 3G coverage show its own U.S. map with ubiquitous coverage, while AT&T's service is portrayed as much smaller.

In response to the latest "Island of Misfit Toys" advertisement, AT&T told a federal court that "the image of the sad and wilting iPhone on an island of misfit toys falsely communicates that the iPhone is a broken device because it cannot browse the Web or download applications when outside of AT&T's depicted coverage area."

AT&T's letter to its customers in response to the Verizon ads follows in its entirety:



To Our Customers:

As the U.S. market leader in wireless data service, we typically don't respond to competitors' advertising. However, some recent ads from Verizon are so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage.

The key facts are:

AT&T's wireless data coverage reaches 303 million people or 97% of the U.S. population, where they live and work. Our data coverage consists of 3 different types of technology:

3G. 233 million people or 75% of the population are covered by AT&T's 3G network, the nation's fastest.

EDGE. 301 million people or more than 96% of the population are covered by EDGE.

With both 3G and EDGE coverage, customers can access the Internet, send e-mail, surf the Web, stream music, download videos, send photos, text, talk and more. The only difference with some data applications, 3G is faster than EDGE
GPRS. Covers 303 million people, allowing you to talk, text, e-mail and access basic websites optimized for wireless.
AT&T is the #1 network for smartphones, with twice the number of smartphone customers than Verizon, our closest competitor. Some of the reasons include:

Most popular smartphones. Unlike Verizon, AT&T offers the most popular smartphones in the industry.

More wireless apps. Unlike Verizon, AT&T customers have access to more than 100,000 applications, more than with any other wireless company.

Talk and E-mail at the same time. Unlike Verizon, AT&T's 3G network lets wireless customers simultaneously talk and surf the web or do e-mail.

Fastest 3G in the nation. Unlike Verizon, AT&T has the nation's fastest 3G network.

Thank you for allowing us to set the record straight. We appreciate your business and will continue to work hard to deliver the best wireless data experience in the industry.

Your AT&T Team

post #2 of 117
WOW
Go AT&T!
Put out the stats - thats the way to win
Even though the stats still put you at "#2", these ads make you look a lot further away than you actually are... hopefully this will help change people's minds
post #3 of 117
Map vs Map. If AT&T wants to convince customers, put up an updated comparative map. Oh AT&T can't, because it would validate Verizons claim.
post #4 of 117
How about Verizon just update their ad to show both 2G and 3G coverage for AT&T in different colors. I am sure that would satisfy someone.
post #5 of 117
I can certainly understand AT&T stand point in the law suit. Not many people in general public know what 3G is. If those people simply look at the map, they may very well assume no service coverage in the "blank area".
post #6 of 117
If they want to convince the customers, add some towers so I can actually get a signal.
post #7 of 117
They will lose. They clearly show 3g coverage and AT&T is clearly butthurt.

This stupid beyond belief. Is Verizon supposed to say "But here's where you can still dial 911" and show a different map?

To those who don't really know much about it, I suppose they could misinterpret what's being shown, but it clearly shows that it's talking about a 3g network.
post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avonord View Post

I can certainly understand AT&T stand point in the law suit. Not many people in general public know what 3G is. If those people simply look at the map, they may very well assume no service coverage in the "blank area".

Oh well? AT&T says they're the fastest 3g network. You don't see Sprint running up proving them wrong.
post #9 of 117
It's called advertising, AT&T... Grow a thicker skin or get out of the biz.
post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Map vs Map. If AT&T wants to convince customers, put up an updated comparative map. Oh AT&T can't, because it would validate Verizons claim.

Right? Excuses , excuses for iPhone's ball and chain.
post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How about Verizon just update their ad to show both 2G and 3G coverage for AT&T in different colors. I am sure that would satisfy someone.

That's AT&T's responsibilty - not Verizon's.
post #12 of 117
AT&T has a valid claim that Verizon does try to position 3G coverage as just "coverage", relying on viewer ignorance or misunderstanding. And I think Verizon's claim of "3G" is grossly overstated as my wife's phone has about the same speed as EDGE, even though Verizon claims we're in 3G coverage.

However, AT&T still needs much improvement. There's three coverage gaps on my way to work whereas Verizon has none. It's one thing to have differing speeds, but we're talking holes where you can't make a stinking phone call. Building penetration in some areas is just pathetic, and while not part of the 3G fight, certainly does not put AT&T Wireless in any more of a positive light.

I will say though, that in other states like Florida, I've had nothing but wonderful service with AT&T. But where I currently live, not so much.

Perhaps AT&T needs to suspend their dividend for a few quarters and put the money into their network.
post #13 of 117
Not disputing who's right or wrong but one thing is clear: these ads are working as Verizon intended.
post #14 of 117
3G is faster if I can even get it to connect, otherwise EDGE is faster just because it will actually connect to the data network.

I typically don't use 3G because I tired of the lack of consistency in the connection (five bars but absolutely no data transfer). Yesterday, I turned 3G on to try to download something. I forgot to switch it back to EDGE. After I got home from work, I realized my error and switched over to EDGE then a funny thing happened - a flood of notifications came through on my iPhone, notifications that apparently were building up on the push server for a large portion of the workday.

Fastest? perhaps but certainly not consistently. Most reliable? I hope not. If there's worse, I pity the people who have to use it.
post #15 of 117
Hey AT&T,
Why don't you put your writers to work and write me a letter explaining why I get so many freakin dropped calls and late texts! If/when Verizon gets an iPhone I will be long gone back to the network that actually worked.

Stick that on your map!
post #16 of 117
Having been an iPhone user from the beginning and listening to 3 years of horror stories on blogs about users not getting 3G service, the service not being fast enough to support MMS and charging me an extra $10 a month for 3G service I could not receive in my area a year ago, I'm going to have to side with Verizon.

AT&T does the minimum amount of work it takes to make their customers barely happy. Had 3rd parties not held AT&T accountable for their crappy network, my phone would still be dropping down to EDGE.

AT&T = U.S. Postal Service
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

If they want to convince the customers, add some towers so I can actually get a signal.

Why is it that some people would rather sit around and complain about everything rather than actually do something about it. If you're not happy with AT&T feel free to go somewhere else .... OTOH I guess that wouldn't fit your agenda.
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post #18 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by subie09lega View Post

3G is faster if I can even get it to connect, otherwise EDGE is faster just because it will actually connect to the data network.

I typically don't use 3G because I tired of the lack of consistency in the connection (five bars but absolutely no data transfer). Yesterday, I turned 3G on to try to download something. I forgot to switch it back to EDGE. After I got home from work, I realized my error and switched over to EDGE then a funny thing happened - a flood of notifications came through on my iPhone, notifications that apparently were building up on the push server for a large portion of the workday.

Fastest? perhaps but certainly not consistently. Most reliable? I hope not. If there's worse, I pity the people who have to use it.

If At&t would actually offer a dynamic product with clear coverage. it would be a game changer.

sadly, as a ATT customer, i know first hand how crappy the 3G coverage is. and in a major city like los angeles. or New York... it just is too hard to get data at all. let alone use your iphone for anything requiring data. like visual voicemail.

I also have a Verizon Data card... so i see that Verizon data coverage actually works and i like it alot, even when i was on the road ... on the highway in farflung places. it worked excellent.

try that with ATT???? no way. their 3G coverage.... "the Fastest 3G network" as their ads state. rarely works properly for me.
post #19 of 117
Fsck all the bullsh*t!

When is the price war going to start?


Can I get a "like a iPhone" for a fraction of the price of the real one?

And can I get a waterproof float case for it lest it be dropped overboard while fishing?


I just rather have iPhone apps on my Mac, WHERE THEY BELONG!!

You know, it was the fad to sell Mac's at the time, called Widgets or something.
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post #20 of 117
My service drops calls constantly. AT&T should be on their toes because the moment Verizon gets a Iphone, I will pay whatever the cancellation cost is.

I am glad Verizon got their attention.
post #21 of 117
The advert looks pretty fair to me. It is showing a device that is 3G capable, and saying it can download apps and data more quickly and then shows that the 3G coverage is not universal.

As far as AT&T's stats go, you may have 75% coverage in populated areas, but most people want a mobile phone, to be, well, mobile. So you need to cover geographical coverage. It looks like you onl have about 20% there!!

Phil
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Why is it that some people would rather sit around and complain about everything rather than actually do something about it. If you're not happy with AT&T feel free to go somewhere else .... OTOH I guess that wouldn't fit your agenda.

That's because if you want the iPhone you're stuck with a ball n chain down here in the good ol' USA, newbee. Do you expect up to start digging holes to add new towers ourselves? Apple got hitched with a corpse bride down here unlike up north. The only agenda we have is to get decent 3G service and steady calls. Is that unreasonable?
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

It's called advertising, AT&T... Grow a thicker skin or get out of the biz.

If misrepresenting, or lying by omission, is standard practise in the advertising business (I refuse to call it a profession) and unfortunately all too often it is, doesn't that speak well for the whole add industry. The real sad part of this is how easily duped the average consumer can be.
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

If misrepresenting, or lying by omission, is standard practise in the advertising business (I refuse to call it a profession) and unfortunately all too often it is, doesn't that speak well for the whole add industry. The real sad part of this is how easily duped the average consumer can be.

The whole point of advertising is to dupe the consumer into buying your product. Some are just more obvious than others, but they all do it nonetheless.
post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

If misrepresenting, or lying by omission, is standard practise in the advertising business (I refuse to call it a profession) and unfortunately all too often it is, doesn't that speak well for the whole add industry. The real sad part of this is how easily duped the average consumer can be.

It's your responsibilty to read the fine print just like you did last year when APple told you the iPhone was "Twice as Fast and Half the Price". Did you believe that NEWBEE? Do you want me to sell you the brooklyn bridge too?
post #26 of 117
Seeing how AT&T is basically complaining because of something Verizon DIDN'T say, I'm glad to see AT&T stepping up on their own behalf.

Here's my issue with ALL wireless advertising in the US:

It's OK to make all of the positive claims you can about your service, even if it is only "technically" correct, because at the end of the day even though your claims are largely unprovable, they are also nearly impossible to disprove.

But the moment you point out a perceived weakness in a competitor's service, the lawsuits ensue, and you are expected to disprove something that your competitor hasn't even legitimately proven.

The relative quality of ANY service at any particular time at any particular place is based on dozens of variable factors. I think it's a joke to be able to make broad, sweeping positive claims without any of the fine print; but the moment someone says something negative, expect them to disclose all of the many factors that may or may not effect the situation.

My money is on this case being thrown out, or AT&T claiming a "victory" by settling after Verizon makes some petty change to their fine print.

I'd like to see an all-out, stone-throwing marketing war between the carriers so that maybe all of them will get off their rears and give us better value for our money. For that, I'd like to thank Verizon for throwing the first punch, and say shame on AT&T for running to the teacher.
post #27 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

That's because if you want the iPhone you're stuck with a ball n chain down here in the good ol' USA, newbee. Do you expect up to start digging holes to add new towers ourselves? Apple got hitched with a corpse bride down here unlike up north. The only agenda we have is to get decent 3G service and steady calls. Is that unreasonable?

so you're saying if the iPhone originally came out on Verizon, their network would have been able to handle the immediate effect of millions of additional data-heavy users? I didn't think so. Verizon continues to do a fantastic job at marketing their network, convincing people that it's better. All I can speak from is experience, and my 8 years with Cingular / AT&T, including 2.5 years with the iPhone, have been perfectly satisfactory.
post #28 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

That's because if you want the iPhone you're stuck with a ball n chain down here in the good ol' USA, newbee. ?


When I chose my wife I did so in spite of some "negative" qualities. Fortunately, for me, she did the same. In both cases we did so because the "whole package" was well worth it, otherwise we would have made other choices.

You had the same option with AT&T, but you, and others, insist on making the same old tired complaints , time and time again. There is ample evidence that AT&T are spending tons of money to improve their service. Maybe it's time to "take a breather" and give them time to do so. "Rome wasn't built in a day" and I'm positive that you and the "rest of the gang" will always be able to find "the dark clouds behind the silver lining" so don't worry, you'll still have a reason to go on....and on, and on, etc.

One final thought .... when one makes a complaint based on a valid point, people will mostly listen, .... but when they keep on and on about it ... soon people start tuning them out. If you want to be taken seriously, try being a little more balanced, otherwise you run the risk of just being thought of as a fool.
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

so you're saying if the iPhone originally came out on Verizon, their network would have been able to handle the immediate effect of millions of additional data-heavy users? I didn't think so. Verizon continues to do a fantastic job at marketing their network, convincing people that it's better. All I can speak from is experience, and my 8 years with Cingular / AT&T, including 2.5 years with the iPhone, have been perfectly satisfactory.

I can''t speak for the 3G service but I can for the dropped calls. I don't know if it's a CDMA vs GSM thing but Verizon clearly has AT&T beat in stength and clarity at least in NYC.
I don't think anyone can really say whether Verizon's 3G would be same, better, or worse as it's strictly hypothethical comparison.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

One final thought .... when one makes a complaint based on a valid point, people will mostly listen, .... but when they keep on and on about it ... soon people start tuning them out. If you want to be taken serious, try being a little more balanced, otherwise you run the risk of just being thought of as a fool.

Thanks - I hope eveyone's listening to whom that last remark pertains too.
No fool here.
post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post

The whole point of advertising is to dupe the consumer into buying your product. Some are just more obvious than others, but they all do it nonetheless.

If you have a worthwhile product or service, like Apple always try to have, you don't have to resort to "trickery or deceit". Anytime I see a company (or politician) trying to dupe a customer, I walk away, far far away. Verizion's adds speaks volumes for me ... and not in a good way.
See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #32 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Do you want me to sell you the brooklyn bridge too?

TechDud ... How could I possibly buy anything from someone who has shown me I can't trust his words? But thanks for the offer.
See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

When I chose my wife I did so in spite of some "negative" qualities. Fortunately, for me, she did the same. In both cases we did so because the "whole package" was well worth it, otherwise we would have made other choices.

You had the same option with AT&T, but you, and others, insist on making the same old tired complaints , time and time again. There is ample evidence that AT&T are spending tons of money to improve their service. Maybe it's time to "take a breather" and give them time to do so. "Rome wasn't built in a day" and I'm positive that you and the "rest of the gang" will always be able to find "the dark clouds behind silver lining" so don't worry, you'll still have a reason to go on....and on, and on, etc.

One final thought .... when one makes a complaint based on a valid point, people will mostly listen, .... but when they keep on and on about it ... soon people start tuning them out. If you want to be taken serious, try being a little more balanced, otherwise you run the risk of just being thought of as a fool.

I had Verizon for 5 plus years and switched to AT&T and the iphone last year.
I have not noticed a difference in service at all! I have the same coverage and the same call quality as when I was with verizon.
I think AT&T needs to come out with their own advertising comapring maybe something like all the swichers from Verizon have an APP for that...to the tune of over 100,000 apps to be exact! Oh yeah and you don't have the #1 smartphone in theworld either...... there no map for that!
They should try to hit back instead of being seen as a cry baby!

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post #34 of 117
AT&T should just run ads about how Verizon 3G doesnt allow talk and Internet at once! Thats often more important than EDGE vs. 3G speed. That Verizon lack would be a deal-breaker for me.

Id love to have a wireless company I dont hate, but I dont think there ARE any good options (in the US) right now.
post #35 of 117
Sprint's 3G network isn't able to reach the speeds that match AT&T (or T-Mobile) using HSPA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Oh well? AT&T says they're the fastest 3g network. You don't see Sprint running up proving them wrong.
post #36 of 117
You see its only now that ATT is actually informing its subs what 3G is. Most peoole are not like us, they don't know the difference beyween 3G and EDGE. They buy an iPhone because its the hottest device and when it can't get 3G service who is to blame? ATT that's who. VZW is just pointing out to those not in the know exactly how big ATTs highly touted 3G network is. Its genius really.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #37 of 117
The headlines/rumors indicated that Verizon sold about a 100k DROIDs over the kick off weekend. Does anyone know if they actually stole customers from the other carriers (AT&T, SPRINT, T-MOBILE) or sold most to their current customers?
post #38 of 117
This is the best - good one...

AT&T = US Postal Service
post #39 of 117
Yet another attempt by AI and AT&T to put a positive spin on AT&T's abismal 3G coverage.

Won't work. The more publicity AT&T gets trying to defend their weak 3G network, the more people realize how bad AT&T's network is.

I love the iPhone.

I have no love lost on Verizon. I've had serious issues with their customer support.

But AT&T is all upset about consumers noticing the truth. AT&T's network has very little 3G coverage and even when they claim it, it doesn't work well.

I'm very grateful to Verizon for publicizing AT&T's network problems. Now maybe AT&T will do something about it. Years of consumer complaints hasn't been successful at getting AT&T to improve their network, maybe Verizon's ads will.
post #40 of 117
It all comes down to context and perception.

The problem is that the majority of people don't know there is a difference between voice and data coverage. They will see Verizon's commercials and think that literally is AT&T's coverage.

Verizon is mostly telling the truth about 3G coverage, but they are sending this message out to people who don't understand what 3G is in the first place. They are leaving the impression that AT&T's 3G coverage is all of AT&T's coverage. That impression is false and damaging to AT&T's business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnb View Post

Seeing how AT&T is basically complaining because of something Verizon DIDN'T say, I'm glad to see AT&T stepping up on their own behalf.

Here's my issue with ALL wireless advertising in the US:

It's OK to make all of the positive claims you can about your service, even if it is only "technically" correct, because at the end of the day even though your claims are largely unprovable, they are also nearly impossible to disprove.
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