You've gotta give AT&T some props. Instead of sitting by flat-footed as consumers bad-mouthed the brand all over the Web for its spotty service, it has sent a sacrificial lamb, a guy named Seth, out there on YouTube. "Look, we see the discussions on the Web, on blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook," says Seth the Blogger Guy, "so we thought it would be a good idea to take what's being said head-on." Seth (who isn't a blogger—he's so called because he does blogger outreach to tech writers in his role as a vp at PR firm Fleishman-Hillard) then goes through a list of excuses why AT&T service sometimes isn't up to speed: It's all those damn smart phones. They've created an "astounding amount of data demand" that can strain AT&T's network despite the company's $38 billion investment in it. Oh yeah, and MMS service for the iPhone? It's coming Sept. 25, even though the MMS-enabled iPhone has been out since June. Judging by the comments on YouTube, Seth only seems to be irritating users even more. "Is this a joke?" one asks. "Bunch of damn LIARS," rails another. Still, AT&T has its supporters. "Give them a break, 300% a year is a lot of data," adds one sympathetic commentor. My take: It was good to get Seth out there, but he should have gone out a lot sooner. But AT&T at least is over the hurdle: Admitting you have a problem is the first step.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman