This doesn’t surprise me– see link below. Any company that thinks it can succeed by reducing costs always fails. The idea of the mergers was to get economies of scale, i.e reduce costs by spreading them across a bigger set of customers.
My recent interactions with AT&T (Mobile, U-verse and DirecTV) have been awful. The customer service experience is uniformly terrible. While I get it, new technologies are intruding on their ability to retain customers, people like me (who were basically an annuity) are rushing for the door because AT&T’s philosophy seems to be charge a premium price, deliver inferior product and then provide exceptionally bad customer service. And, I really think they don’t understand that they are killing their own business. I have ditched Mobile and am very close to chucking the rest.
They are trying to squeeze every cent out of their products and the support systems that deliver them. The result is a clear acceleration of trends that they should have been getting ahead of rather than focusing on cost reduction. But, that is what happens when you let the bean counters run the business. No imagination, no new products and a company that depends on reducing costs rather than delighting your customers by innovating with new products and properly caring for your customers after the sale.