AT&T Cancels Free Wi-Fi Offer

July 21st, 2008 at 12:00 am



In what seems to be a confusing move on the part of the telecom giant, AT&T announced on its web page last July 18, 2008 that it is offering free Wi-Fi hot spots for iPhone users at about 17,000 Starbucks branches all over the US. This have got to excite a lot of AT&T subscribers with iPhones. But then comes the hard-to-believe part- AT&T pulls out the announcement from their web page in a matter of hours after it was posted. The company cites error in posting such announcement and consequently removed it. Hmmmm, maybe something is fishy somewhere.

A lot of people became puzzled of what transpired over at AT&T over the retracted announcement. It started sometime ago as a rumor citing that AT&T would be offering its subscribers free Wi-Fi connection at Starbucks locations nationwide. Last July 18 may have substantiated that rumor with the posting of the free Wi-Fi service for iPhone users that may have thrilled a lot of consumers who read about the attractive offer online. But then came the uneventful retraction with AT&T announcing that it has not yet made any announcement with regards to free Wi-Fi and iPhones (fr. Gizmodo). So, what gives?

With this type of boo-boo, AT&T is not endearing itself too highly to its consumers. Granting that the company made a mistake with posting the announcement, that in itself shows the level of control the company has over marketing its services and offers. With such errors in announcements happening, people may easily get turned off with AT&T and may be led to believe that the company does not really know where it is headed with this thing or any other offer they might have for that matter.

And maybe, just maybe, AT&T really have plans of offering free Wi-Fi to iPhone users but then decided that the said announcement proved to be too early for posting due to some unseen difficulties which eventually led to the removal of the post on their website, even that won’t work well to improve AT&T’s image any better. It may give some subscribers reason to doubt whatever announcements they may read from the company website from then on. And in case the company does another announcement later on concerning the free Wi-Fi thing for real, no doubt there will be a lot, lot less people waiting in eager anticipation. It’s not good for the company’s image in any case. AT&T should have known better.