?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Who, me? [userpic]

Stupid Cellular Company Tricks

April 4th, 2005 (03:49 pm)
annoyed

current mood: annoyed

I just got an SMS message from Cingular, telling me that the homepage for mMode (the AT&T Wireless wireless portal) had changed, and I should update my bookmark. How stupid are these people? Rather than just maintain the old attwireless.com URL, they're making it extra hard for their customers to buy their most profitable service. Duh.

Comments

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: April 4th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)

They have to do it.

AT&T has the rights to use the "Wireless" service. They sold the customers, the equipment, but not the trademark. They plan to lease time/space on (I think) Sprint, and re-introduce the business.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 4th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
I know, but...

But the URL isn't particularly visible to the user (the cellphone screen has no space to waste on displaying the current URL), so they could have made an arrangement to keep it working under the hood. If the users never see it, there's no trademark dilution.

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: April 4th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: I know, but...

Can they change it remotely? I am not sure, although there are many things which they can change remotely.

Should they change it silently? I don't think they should. If I had an AT&T Wireless account which I have let automatically renew, then I may be under the impression that (should a new AT&T Wireless company emerge) I am doing business with them.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 4th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
Re: I know, but...

Can they change it remotely?

Probably (they set most of those things up remotely in the first place, with over-the-air provisioning). But what I was talking about could be done on the server side: just keep the old URL working, regardless of who owns it or how the pages are branded.

If I had an AT&T Wireless account which I have let automatically renew, then I may be under the impression that [...] I am doing business with them.

Except the bills are now clearly labelled Cingular.

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: April 4th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: I know, but...

As to the second point - people can either be dumber than you think ("I didn't change nuthin') or much smarter ("well, right now they are just an MVNO operating over Cingular, but my contract ought to revert once the new service starts up").

But, while I have not seen the URL they use, I suspect it uses the ATT Wireless trademark address, and that will soon revert to ATT. If they did an internal redirect on their servers they are stealing business which ought to go to ATT.

See all the legal precedents on cyber-squatting, against what Gator did, and even GoogleWar to intercept keywords or search engines.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 5th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC)
Re: I know, but...

I'll concede the point on smart/stupid misunderstandings.

As for stealing the URL--yes, absolutely, that would be Bad. I'm suggesting that, if they wanted to keep the data customers they were buying, and they couldn't use OTA provisioning to change the URL, then they should have made it part of the contract that the old URL would keep working.

Me, I rarely use the Web browser anyway (I'm more likely to use the phone as a modem to get my handheld online, so I can get at my home CVS server), and even more rarely use the mMode portal. So I'm rolling my eyes at the thought of spending effort on recording the new URL for the very rare times when I want it.

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: April 5th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
Re: I know, but...

Maybe they should have purchased the old URL - maybe the price asked was too high, or it was forgotten.

And, go ahead and fix mMode, or you can't use our products when the become available... :-) (If you would, which I actually doubt.)

7 Read Comments