Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
7 November 2018
AT&T brand screws its DirecTV NOW customers
AT&T ends its $15 credit on DirecTV NOW for its unlimited wireless subscribers, once again demonstrating that the AT&T brand doesn’t understand its customers.
It’s no secret that AT&T is barely breaking even with DirecTV NOW. The AT&T brand is losing money because of how much it spends promoting the service. If you watch any TV, you know both DirecTV and DirecTV NOW are spending ungodly amounts to combat cable.
This is a battle that’s always fascinated me. Both DirecTV and Spectrum, for example, have been very aggressive in positioning themselves against each other. But trying to recoup some of that advertising spend by withdrawing the break for its wireless customers makes zero sense to me.
That makes the AT&T brand not at all the different from cable. Rather than reward loyalty, even a little bit, cable companies increase prices for existing customers while offering new customers incredible deals. From experience, I know that if I called Spectrum and bitched on the phone for 45 minutes, it would lower my bill.
But who the hell wants to do that? As a general rule, cable companies treat their customers like shit for as long as they can.
“The AT&T brand is taking a page out of the cable company’s playbook. Worse, it isn’t even trying to improve the customer’s experience by offering a benefit to having wireless and TV from the same provider.”
Now, the AT&T brand acts like its enemy
The AT&T brand is taking a page out of the cable company’s playbook. Worse, it isn’t even trying to improve the customer’s experience by offering a benefit to having wireless and TV from the same provider. Ending this program effectively puts a wedge between AT&T and its customers. It may make some financial sense but it makes no sense from the perspective of the customer.
DirecTV NOW has been growing, though a lot of the growth comes at the expense of DirecTV where customers are giving up their satellite boxes in favor of streaming. For the AT&T brand, it cannibalizes one less profitable business at the expense of another.
What’s more, DirecTV and DirecTV NOW are actually being run as two separate business entities. A colleague in the office switched from DirecTV to DirecTV NOW and is constantly getting emails from DirecTV to re-subscribe. Even offering a $300 Visa gift card to do so. As if that makes sense.
The AT&T brand should encourage customers to use more than one of its services. Having customers with multiple accounts makes it harder emotionally to switch. We know many streaming customers are not all that loyal, and there are a bunch of streaming services available now.
AT&T is literally throwing customers away by ending this loyalty discount.
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