How mad are iPhone customers at AT&T? The ways are counted!

David Morgenstern ZDNET

As I mentioned in a post following the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, iPhone customers of AT&T are hopping mad. Now, the results of a poll shows exactly how mad.

To give the culprit (and Apple too) a reading on dissatisfaction levels, MacTech magazine posted a poll, Shame on you AT&T, which went live during the keynote. The results were announced on Thursday.

Here are the numbers:

Question 1: AT&T: You should be embarrassed for your support. Shame on you.
1. I agree: 97.8%
2. I disagree: 2.2%

* Question 2: AT&T is not supporting tethering of the iPhone. This feature is:
1. Not important to me: 4.4%
2. Somewhat useful to me: 25.8%
3. Very important to me: 69.9%

* Question 3: AT&T’s network is not as robust as other networks. This
feature is:
1. Not important to me: 0.7%
2. Somewhat useful to me: 5.5%
3. Very important to me: 93.7%

* Question 4: AT&T is not supporting MMS for several months. This feature is:
1. Not important to me: 9.3%
2. Somewhat useful to me: 26.6%
3. Very important to me: 64.1%

* Question 5: The following describes me best:
1. I’m happy with AT&T: 3.8%
2. I’ll go with whatever carrier supports the iPhone: 50.6%
3. I’m looking for any way to leave AT&T as soon as possible: 45.6%

The devastating responses are to Questions 3 and 5. Ouch, 93 percent of iPhone customers say the service sucks.

Okay, and Question 1, where 98 percent say that AT&T should be embarrassed. That 2 percent must be AT&T employees and contractors. Can you say “lie detector test?”

The response to Question 5 is also interesting. Half of responders are resigned to the service; they just want their iPhone to work. The other half are nursing a hot hate for AT&T.

MacTech says the poll wasn’t scientific.

Earlier this week, MacTech launched the poll to assess how users in the market perceived AT&T’s lack of support for new iPhone technologies. The poll is not scientific, it had approximately 1000 respondents, and clearly points out the perception in the core of the Apple market.

While I decry the service levels and slow-footed response from AT&T, I feel a bit of sympathy in me. Did the management and internal analysts at AT&T really understand the implications of the changes in customer attitude towards mobile computing that the iPhone would bring. For example, towards Internet browsing?

According to the figures handed out at the keynote, the iPhone accounts for 65 percent of all mobile browsing. All the rest of the vendors — Android, Symbian, Java and “Other” — are at 10 percent or less.

That means that the services that they run under aren’t as swamped as AT&T is with the iPhone. Most likely any service provider, even my favorite Verizon, would be terrible with this super-strong usage.