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Who owns your local AT&T store?

A growing percentage of AT&T storefronts are not operated by AT&T itself, but by third party dealers “that appear to be focused on pumping up sales rather than providing customer service,” a new report found. The report, “AT&T’s Retail Sales Problem,” details how outsourcing compromises customer service and job quality.

For example, in a survey of 1,300 AT&T employees who work at corporate retails stores and call centers, 76 percent of respondents said customers came to them multiple times per week with problems caused by authorized dealers. Furthermore, 40 percent said customers reported that authorized dealers offered services that are not actually available.

Spring Mobile, the largest of AT&T’s third-party authorized dealer, operates more than 1,400 AT&T stores. Average worker pay at Spring Mobile is just above the minimum wage. The CEO’s pay? More than $9.1 million.

Low pay and bad incentives at third-party dealers are reminiscent of bad corporate behavior in other sectors. “Just as Wells Fargo workers who blew the whistle on problematic sales quotas sought to improve their company from within,” the report read, “AT&T workers would like corporate executives and shareholders to take substantive action to reverse this damaging trend before the impact on the business and their jobs becomes severe.”

Read the full report here. Are you an AT&T customer? Share your experience with AT&T third-party dealers here.



There’s A Decent Chance Your Local AT&T Store Is Actually Owned By GameStop (Consumerist, June 21, 2017)

AT&T’s Retail Sales Problem: How Outsourcing Compromises Customer Service and Job Quality (CWA, June 21, 2017)

AT&T Consumer Alert website (CWA, June 21, 2017)