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SBC, AT&T - Your World. Delivered?

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I guess it's official now. My last SBC bill had an AT&T logo decorating the envelope and the SBC Web site has begun to flash the AT&T brand name here and there. And their telephone technical support has a preamble touting the merger and the new AT&T name.

How do I know this about the phone support IVR? I actually had to call them from work last night to report a full outage at home. It was a true voice mail jail case. The IVR spun me around from one system to another. I was warned that talking to a live agent could take a lengthy wait time, so I used the automated support to report the outage.

This morning the phone and the DSL services were back online, but by noon they were out again. Cell phone signals from our house are very poor, so I took my wife's cell phone ( I continue to refuse getting one for myself), and drove a few miles to get a good signal and did the same dance with SBC's phone support IVR. A few hours later, the service magically came back online.

But just now there was another outage. Luckily this one was short-lived. Is this a preview of what's to be expected when SBC fully integrates AT&T? Word has it that they plan on a nearly $1 billion advertising campaign to promote the merger and the new name. Contrast that with the recent study that claims stocks of companies with better quality products, services, and customer service fare better than those of their peers that put more emphasis on advertising and marketing.

Hey, SBC, or AT&T, no need to deliver my world to me. Just give me quality products and decent customer service. You will realize a must higher ROI than the billion dollars spent on showboating.

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