When the correct "IP lawyer response" does not play well
Instead of a simple "thank you for your suggestions" reply, Valrie instead got a letter from AT&T's Thomas A. Restaino, a lawyer who handles intellectual property issues, according to a business column published Tuesday in the Times. After thanking Restaino for being a lifelong customer, according to the column, Restaino then wrote:
"AT&T has a policy of not entertaining unsolicited offers to adopt, analyze, develop, license or purchase third-party intellectual property ... from members of the general public.
"Therefore, we respectfully decline to consider your suggestion."
Getting a lawyer letter can "put off" some:
"I just wanted to give him something to mull over," Valrie was quoted as saying. "I never thought I'd get a letter from a lawyer."
Stephenson on Wednesday admitted the company goofed big time.
"At AT&T, our top priority is to treat our customers to a premium experience every time they interact with us, and our consistent award-winning service demonstrates we usually get it right," he wrote.
"Unfortunately, we don't meet our high standards 100 percent of the time."
And of course
AT&T rival T-Mobile, never one to refrain from stirring the pot, was quick to jump into the fray. Its flamboyant CEO, John Legere, chided his AT&T counterpart and said he would personally welcome suggestions from AT&T customers.