Dozens of people on Satisfaction have been wondering why Twitter was down for them and fuming about the state of Twitter and T-Mobile.
The rhetoric is heating up, and the facts are not all in. But, based on a provocative and sharply worded e-mail response from a T-Mobile representative, things do not look good for Twitter or its enthusiasts:
“...Twitter is not an authorized third-party service provider, and therefore you are not able to utilize service from this provider any longer.... T-Mobile is not in violation of any agreement by not providing service to Twitter. T-Mobile regrets any inconvenience, however please note that if you remain under contract and choose to cancel service, you will be responsible for the $200 early termination fee that would be assessed to the account at cancellation.”
If legitimate, this e-mail, from Marianne Maestas, of the Executive Customer Relations department at T-Mobile, is striking. First and foremost, it positions T-Mobile as against innovation and against small businesses. What do small businesses have to do to comply with these new rules? What has changed in the past few days that warrants this kind of restriction? Closing systems like this brings to mind the e-mail wars between CompuServe and AOL. Haven’t we learned since then that open standards leads to more innovation and wealth? Besides, it’s services like Twitter that make T-Mobile’s product more valuable and more essential to users. It’s short-sighted at best to try to cut off this usage.
On top of that, it’s just plain mean-spirited. Not only are we not going to let you communicate with your friends via Twitter, T-Mobile is saying, we’re going to charge you as much money as possible if you disagree with our position and try to switch to a new service provider. So there.
It all sounds shocking, and I hope that in truth this is actually a misunderstanding. I wonder if there is an opportunity to get to the truth of the matter and have T-Mobile clarify so that the thousands of Twitter-using T-Mobile customers (and potential customers) can rest assured that the substantial amount of money they pay to telecom companies to stay connected is worth it.
Thoughts? Ideas? Can anyone else confirm this distressing news — or put it to rest? Can anyone from T-Mobile stand up and speak on this issue?
You can also call T-Mobile at (800) 937-8997 or e-mail T-Mobile’s CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.