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Users Begin to Defect from AT&T Broadband

Over the weekend, Patrick Logan, a customer of AT&T Broadband's version of the @Home service wrote, "I called AT&T yesterday and cancelled my AtHome cable service. I will not tolerate the way my family was treated as pawns in their little game. Now I can only hope Verizon does a little better with their DSL service.... What's really behind this bankruptcy and shenanigans? I never used At Home's web pages or multimedia features, etc. I only wanted a fast connection from my home to the Internet."

This is the kind of defection that AT&T is facing as a result of negotiating in bad faith with Excite@Home. It's amazing that one large cable company can come out looking like such a loser in this situation, while other companies appear more reasonable. All AT&T had to do was preserve enough good faith with the existing leadership of Excite@Home so that they could also be a party to an interim agreement, when it was finally negotiated.

Say anything else that you want about the management of Comcast, Cox, and Rogers, but they knew what was in their customers interests when it mattered. They were the companies with the biggest customer relationships with @Home, other than AT&T Broadband, and they didn't get greedy.

Patrick Logan is a technical user who obviously knows what his options are. But, he is undoubtedly not alone in his unwillingness to just sit there while AT&T Broadband takes his business for granted. This is exactly the kind of thing that Locke, Levine, Searles, and Weinberger were talking about in The Cluetrain Manifesto.

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