Ethical (or at least less actively evil) telecommunications company?
August 17, 2018 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently picking between AT&T and Spectrum and both seem awful from a multitude of perspectives. Do you have insight on either their labor or their consumer ethics and practices? Not just whether they have crappy customer service, but if they are bilking customers or have shady accounting. I will be reading through what the Communications Workers of America has to say, but would appreciate any info, anecdotes, etc.
posted by spamandkimchi to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Adding another vote against AT&T. They fucked up setting up my auto billing three months running and charged me a late fee each time. So each month, I had to call and say “look, sorry the person I talked to last time was incompetent, but you need to waive this.” Pretty sure I spent 45 minutes on the phone with them the third time. They’re the worst.
posted by suncages at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2018

FWIW, I would consider fucking up and then requiring customers to call—rather than chat—to address the problem “bilking” behavior. They also require you to call to cancel and do not have a 24/7 number you can call to do so. Even Comcast has been better for me.
posted by suncages at 9:22 AM on August 17, 2018

In 2015's King v. ATT (warning: contains offensive images), the plaintiff, an African-American woman and 30-year+ company veteran, alleged race, gender, and age discrimination (and harassment), among other things. This suit was settled out of court. AT&T's president, Aaron Slator, was fired ("There is no place for demeaning behavior within AT&T and we regret the action was not taken earlier," the company said), and filed a lawsuit of his own, alleging that he was "made a scapegoat for a corporate scandal involving a racist text message."
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2018

AT&T sent my name to a collections agency years after I switched away from them. I supposedly owed them money but that's impossible because as with most people, my cell is charged to my credit card and paid in full every month. It was no surprise though - I consulted for them some years earlier and their data collection practices were atrocious. Garbage data all over the place, such as, DOB: Jane Doe, name: 1/15/1965, and so on... pretty rich of them to send customers to collections when they can't be sure of anyone's name or other identifying information.
posted by rada at 12:22 PM on August 17, 2018

This isn't in answer to your question, but if it is possible you can go outside of these two companies, I have been super happy with Ting (phone) and the Calyx Institute (Internet). They get their juice from the evil corporate overlords, but at least I can feel good about the folks I directly interface with.
posted by nanook at 2:39 PM on August 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Spectrum let me cancel my TV service without a fight. TWC and AT&T hounded me for days to try and change my mind. YMMV.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:18 PM on August 17, 2018

For cellphone service, I went with Consumer Cellular, and have not regretted it. (Had Verizon before that, and hated it.) Dish satellite TV has been OK (unlike Comcast). For Internet, it seems to be a world of bad choices.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:13 AM on August 18, 2018

Isn't Spectrum just TWC rebranded?
posted by thedward at 11:15 AM on August 18, 2018

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