AT&T CEO Apologizes for Widespread Cellular Outage, Announces Compensation Plan

The CEO of AT&T expressed regret on Sunday for the widespread cellular outage that disrupted service for numerous customers, affirming that certain accounts would be receiving credits to address the inconvenience caused.

“In light of the impact on consumer and small business customers most affected by the outage, we are automatically applying an account credit to compensate them for the inconvenience they experienced,” stated Chief Executive John Stankey in a letter to employees.

“We all recognize the significant value and convenience our customers derive from our service at a nominal daily cost, and outages can sometimes disproportionately affect certain subscribers beyond the face value of the credit. For this reason, I believe it’s appropriate to credit those customers for essentially a full day of service,” he elaborated.

AT&T Networks
Widespread service disruptions affect thousands, of credits offered to impacted customers.

“Despite the impact on the business, I am confident that this approach remains manageable while aligning with the 2024 business objectives we’ve established and our stated financial guidance.”

Stankey also mentioned that impacted customers who prepay for their service will have “options” available to them, and the company is actively engaging with its mid-market and enterprise customers to address their concerns.

The outage, which began early Thursday, led to tens of thousands of AT&T customers across the U.S. experiencing widespread service disruptions and being unable to utilize their phones without WiFi access. Reports of outages surged around 4 a.m. ET, peaking at approximately 74,000 incidents by 8:30 a.m. ET, according to Downdetector.

While initial concerns arose regarding a potential cyberattack, an initial investigation of the incident revealed that it was caused by “the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network,” clarified Stankey.

AT&T Networks
Incident caused by the incorrect process during network expansion, no cyberattack detected.

“Teams diligently worked to restore the network to normalcy by noon CT. Regardless of the timing, it’s evident that we disappointed many of our customers, including many of you and your families. For that, we extend our apologies,” he remarked. “These challenges present opportunities to glean valuable insights that will enhance our operations, and I can confirm that we have already implemented measures to prevent a recurrence of Thursday’s events.”

Upon recognizing the outage, the company prioritized restoring service to first responders and progressively reconnected remaining customers throughout the day. Stankey expressed gratitude towards staff for their efforts in managing customer complaints, disseminating information about the outage, and restoring service.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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