Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I Won't Stand for Trash Talking

Dear AT&T,

The Man and I were recently in one of your stores to discuss potentially upgrading our phones.  We had no intention of making any purchases or changes to our service during our visit as we needed more information in order to make a decision.  Upon entering the store, we were greeted warmly by several of your employees.  Since the store was relatively vacant during our visit, we had the undivided attention of a sales associate.  He gave us several sales pitches and answered our questions quickly and kindly.  We were chatting with him, asking questions about other cell phone carriers, when he blurted, "I like to talk trash about the competition every chance I get."  Both my husband and I were taken aback, but we said nothing to the employee.  It isn't our place to tell him his attitude is completely inappropriate.  His manager was standing next to him and offered no apology or reprimand, not even a flinch at his forwardness.

Can you imagine what would happen if every company "talked trash" about their competition?  It's one thing to bad-mouth a rival sports team or college in the workplace, but to have an employee openly declare his dislike for Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile loudly for the whole store to hear, that goes too far.  The statistics he offered next regarding AT&T's superiority in the market were unnecessary, not to mention a complete turn-off.

We have a friend in the real estate business.  She works for a local and well-respected company.  When we asked her what she thought about her competition, she said she'd rather not say what she thought.  She wouldn't even "talk trash" about the competition with very close friends over a casual dinner.  A mark of honor, I'll say.  It would behoove AT&T's employees to learn some honor.

Though we've considered upgrading our phones, we will be waiting for quite some time before we enter an AT&T store again.  Unless that employee finds himself at another branch or in another line of work, we won't return to that store ever.  We don't do business with people or companies who bad-mouth others.  It's inappropriate and unnecessary.

AT&T, you can make this right.  As a loyal customer for nearly ten years, I would appreciate an apology on behalf of your slanderous employee.  In lieu of an apology, my husband I would like to be released from our contracts without penalty.


P.S.  To any real AT&T employee reading this, leave a comment.  It'll go straight to my e-mail without posting on the blog.  Leave your contact information, and I will respond to you.  Remember, you can make this right.

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