AT&T Threatens to Cut Off Your Service if You Badmouth Them
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“Reach out, reach out and muzzle someone.” If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember the “reach out and touch someone,” slogan that was famously used to tout bell giant AT&T. Over the years, however, AT&T has apparently decided on a more heavy-handed approach. Now, according to the telecomm titan, they will suspend your AT&T Internet and AT&T DSL services if you talk mean about them. So much for meaningful dialogue!

Apparently nobody ever told AT&T that old saying about sticks and stones. Or, maybe they are concerned that their Internet services are so bad that the rank and file is likely to take up verbal arms against them. Maybe they already have.


According to the most current AT&T contract, “AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes…tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.”

And actually, AT&T isn’t the only carrier to make such threats.

You can’t badmouth Verizon either. It is a violation of their terms of service “to damage the name or reputation of Verizon, its parent, affiliates and subsidiaries, or any third parties.”

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Now, all that said, neither AT&T is required to provide service to anyone. Put another way, they can choose to provide – or to not provide – services to whomever they wish. It’s the old “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service” rule.

But perhaps more to the point, if your Internet service is so bad that you are going to badmouth it publicly, would you really care if you weren’t able to use the service any more? Wouldn’t you go to another service anyway?

It seems to me that rather than trying to stop people from saying bad stuff about them, AT&T, Verizon, and their ilk should instead get back to trying to provide decent – hey, at least passable, if not superlative – service.

 

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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3 thoughts on “AT&T Threatens to Cut Off Your Service if You Badmouth Them
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  1. Your last sentence assumes that there is another service to go to. In the town in which I live there is only AT&T for high speed access to the internet. There is no cable access at all. I am fortunate in that I have no problems with their service.

    AG

  2. I have AT&T exclusive and have had no problems with them. I don’t understand why people have problems with them.

  3. I suppose that’s our “Kickout Clause” for when we’re really displeased with their service; we send out a bunch of emails claiming we hate their crappy service and have the recipients forward those communications to the new MotherShip et voilà, we’re free!

    Reminds me of the really cool movie, “Crazy People”, with Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah, … and Paul Reiser; where people begin using real Truth in Advertising, and Daryl Hannah writes one for AT&T:, “We’re the only long distance service you’ve got! AT&T; We’re tired of taking your CRAP!”

    Great movie.

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