Cingular, AT&T Wireless Merger Some Thoughts

Cingular and AT&T Wireless is going to have some hiccups, and despite the meshing being ahead of schedule, I expect some upheavals. Why do I say that? Well because of my visit to the Cingular store in downtown San Francisco this morning. First of all there were two sales people, who made me wait for about 20 minutes, though there were clearly no customers in the store. Aka, bad customer service which is going to become a norm as we see some consolidation in the market place. Here is my conversation with the sales dude who spent nearly 15 minutes selling a $49.99 headset.

Me: I want to switch from T-Mobile to Cingular. I want a 3G handset and a 3G unlimited data service. (Total about $100 a month in service package and about $300 for the handset, now that’s a good $1500 a year sale.)
Sales Guy: We don’t have 3G/UMTS.
Me: But AT&T Wireless has been selling it in this market.
Sales Guy: NO 3G till end of 2005, but I can offer you EDGE
Me: Repeating myself, but AT&T is selling it, and you bought the company, so shouldn’t you be selling it as well
Sales Guy: Ahem… No
Me: A very gallic shrug (as much as I could pull off!)
Sales Guy: Try AT&T Wireless store on Market street, even though there are no AT&T Wireless stores anymore.
Me: Best Donald Duck imitation I could do, with smoke coming out of my ears.

I guess, integration of cultures and sales people is more difficult that the IT. Sigh… I really want this one to work. Better phones than anyone else on the market.