Alternate Reality   •   Favorites

AT&T Vying For ‘Worst Company Ever’ Award

An AT&T executive says the company has been quietly competing for a prestigious “Worst Company Ever” distinction. Ah, yes…suddenly, it all makes sense.

By (@JRRaphael)

December 10, 2009

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

AT&T Worst Company EverAT&T’s focus on alienating all of its customers may seem counterintuitive, but an executive now says there’s a reason behind the madness. The carrier, it appears, is working toward an international honor of “Worst Company Ever.”

AT&T is one of three finalists for the distinction, the exec reveals, and is consequently upping its efforts during these final weeks of competition.

Those efforts are tough to miss. Most recently, the carrier’s wireless CEO patronized legions of iPhone users by saying they needed to be educated about what a megabyte really means. It was part of a broader speech that also hinted at future plans for mobile data control, including customer “incentives” and eventual “pricing schemes” to help discourage heavy usage among those with unlimited data plans.

“Clearly, 99 percent of all iPhone users already hate us,” AT&T Director of Distinctions Dick Facé explains. “Our wireless CEO wouldn’t add to the growing sense of disdain without good reason.”

Indeed, that sense of disdain has been building for some time. AT&T recently received the worst customer satisfaction scores in every possible measure by Consumer Reports. (Those rankings, Facé says, gave the company a “significant boost” in the semifinal rounds of the competition.) Its subpar data network, piss-poor voice performance, and turtle-like speed at unveiling basic features like iPhone MMS and tethering support have long irritated its customers.

If all of that isn’t enough, AT&T’s also toying with data caps for broadband subscribers, providing increasingly crappy customer service, and making itself look like an ass with a public cryfest over its competitor’s (generally accurate) ads.

All of those actions, Facé assures, have been taken in the name of the global distinction. He hopes it will collectively be enough for AT&T to edge out the other top competitors — Comcast and GM — and take home the grand prize.

“Our company has been working diligently toward this award for years,” Facé says. “We’re not about to let those efforts go to waste.”

(AT&T Death Star image:

Get fresh geek humor delivered daily: RSS | E-Mail | Twitter


  • GeeTee

    When my first wife worked, in the 1970's, for the then Western Electric Division of the 'Phone Company', I would often see bumper-stickers on cars in the employee parking lot with the Bell symbol on them, and the phrase “We don't care, we don't have to”. How true, more true today than thirty-five years ago.

    • att rep

      You have no idea what its like now. I am an 10+ yr ATT customer service employee. The only thing management cares about is revenue. They don't care about customers. They care even less about their employees. Everyday we are told to do more & do it faster. They are calling representatives in to write them up about how often they use the bathroom! Sorry but we have to take call after call , keep them under a specified amount of minutes, be verbally abused by customers while keeping our cool, & sell something before the call is over. AND THEN COMPANY IS ANGRY BECAUSE OF OUR NON STOP STRESS & TALKING ON THE PHONE THAT WE DRINK WATER & THEN NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM!!!!!!!!! I AM NOT KIDDING. If they could make use adult diapers & not leave our desks ever -THEY WOULD DO IT .

      • Benrogers

        Oh dear Lord, I pray to you. Please let Verizon get the I-phone so my teenage daughter will quit asking me daily to switch to AT&T so she can get one. That way I will not have to put her up for adoption. Because I'd rather do that than switch to AT&T. Amen.

        • Nissagaie

          Don't even buy her an iPhone. iPhones suck. Go get on the android bandwagon.

          • Bart Summar

            Forget Android and the iPhone and get the new Windows Phone 7 coming out next month. It rocks!

      • Blue123

        I feel you 100%! With all of the things we are required to do and say on a call, it is a absolutely ridiculous! They could care less about us! But what these shit-for-brains upper managment don’t understand ( I guess their college degrees didn’t teach them) is that happy employees=even happier customers! Duh! LOL.

  • Pierre Brennan

    I have been receiving junk mail from AT&T for the past year at three different addresses despite my repeated requests to have them stop sending me their unwanted mailings. The Office of the President of AT&T flat out told me that there is no way for them to stop sending me their promotional mailings! That is an incredible comment coming from the top of the company. I have a hard time believing that such a progressive company as Apple would team up with such poorly run company that clearly doesn't care about keeping their customers happy.

  • david

    It's my guess that Dell one of the other two vying for the dishonor. It took those morons 19 months to start to think about fixing my laptop, and a expired and extended warranty.

    • Joe Blow

      Speak English, please.

      • guest


    • Techsmart07

      1) what joe blow said.
      2) I don’t have any problems with dell. I had a desktop and laptop with them. In 5 years, I had 1 problem, and they had a replacement part sent out same day I called, even with an expired warranty. Maybe I got the cool representative, but they are okay by me as of right now.

  • Mar

    First, I was receiving postal mail solicitations addressed to a woman that used to live at my address, but has not lived there for over 3 years. I assume this woman had or has an account with AT&T because I do not have an AT&T account. I called the toll free number on the mailing and asked for the mailings to stop and was told it was taken care of. Instead, I am now receiving mailings to Current Resident at my address. I called the toll free number again and asked for the mailings to stop, but was told I had to provide my phone number. I do not have a land line, and my cell phone is with a different provider, not AT&T. I refused to disclose my cell phone number, so I was asked for my name. I did not provide my name, explaining that the solicitations were addressed to Current Resident. I was told by the AT&T representative that they could not stop the mailings without either a phone number or a name. I asked to speak to supervisor and was told that they were all in a meeting (sounded like a lie to me) and that if I gave my phone number they would call me back. Again, I am not comfortable disclosing my cell phone number, so I ended the call.

    I did several hours of digging on the internet looking for answers and advice. I searched through the privacy policy at AT& and ended up calling this number: 1-800-331-0500. The woman I spoke to gave me two options. I could either submit my information online or write to an Opt Out address. So here's the info:

    AT&T Opt Out Request
    5565 Glen Ridge Connector
    Suite 1230C
    Atlanta, GA 30342-4756

    I chose to use the online form. You have the option of leaving boxes blank, such as your phone number and email address. I also was able to enter Current Resident for the name instead of my name.

    This took me 3 phone calls and over an hour of digging on the internet to find. Spread the information!

  • attisterrible

    AT&T is TERRIBLE! After I cancelled service after only one day, they charged my credit card over $300 for monthly service which I don't have! I tried for over a month to get a refund, and after being told I would get one SIX TIMES, I finally had to dispute the charge on my credit card. When I kept getting bills for monthly service fees – again for service I had cancelled months before – I put a block so AT&T couldn't charge my card again. What an absolutely horrible company.

  • attisterrible

    AT&T is TERRIBLE! After I cancelled service after only one day, they charged my credit card over $300 for monthly service which I don't have! I tried for over a month to get a refund, and after being told I would get one SIX TIMES, I finally had to dispute the charge on my credit card. When I kept getting bills for monthly service fees – again for service I had cancelled months before – I put a block so AT&T couldn't charge my card again. What an absolutely horrible company.

  • Ben Rogers

    AT&T gets MY vote… Worst Company Ever. I still remember the day I got my $1000 phone bill from AT&T. They were charging me for dropped calls, something about if I was connected for any amount of time, I was still charged. When I told them I wasn't going to pay, they disconnected my phone, and then charged me $300 TWICE for the phone itself even though I only had one phone. That was about 8 years ago and the whole thing is still on my credit report to this day. DO NOT GO WITH AT&T NO MATTER WHAT is my advice.

  • Covered in Oil

    Um…BP anyone?

    As far as I know, AT&T hasn't raped the earth…yet..?

  • Covered in Oil

    Um…BP anyone?

    As far as I know, AT&T hasn't raped the earth…yet..?

  • Kanjisasahara

    My father has worked for AT&T almost as long as I have been alive, but he has said that management has become pure evil within the past 2 years. When it was still Cingular, he said that he actually enjoyed going to work. I hate it as well, but the service in the DC metro area is rather splendid. NYC, where I go to school, has the worst AT&T service ever. I have never gotten so many dropped calls in my life. And I know that telling AT&T about this won't do jack. Fuck AT&T and the management that doesn't give a shit about its employees and customers.


    Definitely the worst company ever. Only if I could have my Iphone 4 open up with another cell phone company I definitely be on top of it right away.

  • Bandzoni

    the worst company ever. i want to go over there and slap everybody with my dick on their face and piss all over their desk… dumbest people in the world. they dont care about their customers at all. some of them seem nice but dont do anything right. i dont know how this company stays in business.. i had so many problems with them. it is unreal.. i should write a book on how much they suck..

  • Jimito

    After numerous calls, online chats and a week after my alleged service activation date for DSL, I waited for the technician to arrive at my house at a prearranged time, 8am-12. When no one came I called again and gave them my account information only to find out that they had no record of me. After being shuffled between tech support and customer service for a full half-hour, I was informed that my information was deleted because I don't qualify (geographically) for DSL service. I then asked “why didn't someone call me?” instead of making me wait and was told that “yes, I think someone should have.” I did not think that anyone could trump charter cable for bad customer service but ATT has done it. I am actually glad that I did not end up doing business with this company.

  • Lands

    They are the worst company to their employees also. They work you to death,spit in your face, fire you and then they appeal your unemployment. My daughter is doing everthing in her power to prevent this MamaBear from going down with a sandwich sign boycotting this horrible company.

  • Anitamkitchen

    AGREED….AT&T by FAR the worst company out there. I had an iphone and had to move out to the middle of AZ for a job. I didn’t have service 85% of the time and forget data which they made me pay. After 4 months of paying $110.00 a month for something I wasn’t getting 85% of the time and calling them 15 times to see if they would waive the cancellation fee I was pretty much forced to canceled my policy. Then they kept sending me the cancellation bill so I paid it and disputed the cancellation fee with my credit card. My credit card called them and determined that I was in the right and refunded my money. I thought I was forever finished with these fiends…then I get a bill in the mail. They charged me again for the cancellation fee and are threatening to put it on my credit score. I called them and they couldn’t give a crap that I already paid it and my credit card disputed the charge. THAT IS UNETHICAL! I have proof I paid for the charge and they put it back on my bill and are planning on hitting my credit. I will not, for as long as I live go back to AT&T…this has sealed the determination to not pay them another cent. Nor my family and I”m spreading the word to friends and relatives.

  • Blue123

    I started this job 9 years ago when it was AT&T Wireless. AT&T Wireless was an awesome company to work for! They valued their employees and made you feel like you were really a part of the team with incentives, quarter and annual bonuses and top notch medical coverage. Then the huge system crash caused this awesome company to go under, Cingular/SBC bought AT&T Wireless and everthing CHANGED! All this company cares about is the bottom line and numbers! They screw their employees out of incnetives, promotions and now recently medical, dental and vision benefits have been cut with extremely high deductibles. I went on maternity leave a year ago and had a c section, which most companies cover for 8 weeks. Not AT&T!! They would only pay me for 6 weeks even though my doctor dicussed (over the phone) that I was not medically ready to come back! They screw the customers BIG time, let me tell you! I’m in customer service and I can’t ell you how many times I’ve had to credit someone’s account. For a feature they never asked for or “hidden” fees! This company preaches to “value” the customer but believe me, they do not! Management I horrible and as of recently the attrition rate has hit the roof because people are fed up of this company. Oh and the icing on the cake is that AT&T/Cingular has shipped quality, warranty exchange , RM and countless other departments overseas to India and phillipines! I’m sorry but I can’t understand a damn thing they say half the time! Needless to say I’m a disgruntled employee working for a sucky company.

  • BeyondUpset

    AT&T really is the worst company I have ever come across. If I could go back in time, I would chose never to do business with them. They overcharged me on every single bill, requiring me to call to get money credited to my account every single time. Every month I was told it would be corrected only to open my next month’s bill to the same exact problem. I was told numerous times that e-mails, yes e-mails, were being sent to the supervisor about my problem, with no response and that there was nothing else I could do. This is the worst experience I have ever had with any company, not just companies regarding phone and internet services. I truly hope that those in charge will realize that changes need to be made within their company and that people cannot be treated this way.

    • it gets worse: at&t ceo randall stephenson is sleeping with your mom. and he is one kinkyass sob.

  • Bruce

    Please file appropriate complaints with appropriate regulatory agencies. Only then might things change with this horrid company. This is the worst company ever.

  • AT&T worst company ever

    A good friend of mine who i worked with at AT&T for years just got called into the office and fired after working their for 35 years for going to his wifes funeral i know this is hard to beleive but sad to say for AT&T this is a true story. Even worse than that this story is just the tip of the iceberg never in the history of the world this evil company just needs to go away far away. The same good old AT&T was charging my mother 300 dollars a month for her cell phone when is should have been 39 dollars a month after about 3 months of this my mom said something to me about it. I got ahold of them and ever who set up the account had her roaming no matter who she call are who called her. And like always AT&T just can’t do the right thing by it’s customers they did not even offer up a rebate after i ask for it i was told we would get a check in the mail for about 800 dollars still waiting for that check and that was years ago. Hope it made AT&T feel good to screw a 80 old woman out of her money.

  • Pr1mu55ucks

    I don’t have any problems with at&t. I actually have better service than I’ve had with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Never been charged for anything I didn’t receive. Weird… But those stories do suck… Now I’m afraid of the day to come where I might think about moving on from AT&T and going with a different company…

  • Lillyblairmiller

    We all know this company sucks, yet somehow they’re still a billion dollar business. Why? As SOON as my ATT contract was up I changed carriers – my work line be damned. I told my company they could take the whole $25 they reimbursed us for being on a connected ATT line – I’m switching to a company that isn’t (as) bad. Now if I can get a different cable carrier in my area OTHER than Comcast ill be in business…..

  • I got their U-Verse service or any of their services for the first time last year and when the contract is up in May it will be my last!; this company is full of thieving, lying, manipulating, and money grubbing  bastards: if and when Planet X arrives one day, I really hope that one of the first companies to be completely and totally obliterated to absolute nothingness is  At&t or also known as ” American tricksters and thieves” more appropriately.

    The reason these no go bastards are still in business, is because once a company gets so large they are pretty much like the Mafia; they can do anything they want without any accountability. The ones that they have to account to are pretty much bought off anyway because here in America today, there is no God other than MONEY! ; MONEY is the number one reason most people today live for; they eat, sleep, play, and crap this number one God of their world. 

    At&t, like most all large companies today become this way because of greed and psychologists admit that greed leads to psychological or physiological disorders and is a form of poison. This company is a poison. The only way to get rid of them permanently is for hundreds of millions to not do business with them. You see, these bastards( I call them that because anyone without a ( heavenly) father is sort of bastard, as they work for the devil himself, get companies like Apple to get in contracts with them to exclusively carry something the majority of the sheeple want today which is the iphone. Since American tricksters and thieves carry this exclusively sheeple are forced to go with them and they are hooked just like a person addicted to crack.

    Just that this company is around and is so large is a good indication of the state of America and the world is in today.
    Completely morally and ethictly bankrupt.

  • guest33

    Love your blog and couldn’t agree more! The customer service is the worst I’ve ever experienced. It’s like they don’t train their people at all! No one knows what you’re talking about or how to help you. I have never hated a service provider so much in my life!