Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When Old Companies Meet New Technology

This is a fantastic example of what happens when an old company tries to use old methods to manage new technologies:

It’s a minor triumph of Apple’s that all AT&T plans for the iPhone include unlimited data services. After all, Blackberries and Treos alike have spendy access plans that dramatically increase their cost of use.

But as Justine Ezarik (a designer based in Pittsburgh known as iJustine who is also a “lifecaster” on Justin.tv) learned recently, AT&T still has a very old-world view of billing for data services. The company broke out as a line item every data transfer her iPhone made, including 30,000 texts, most of which come up as a huge series of $0.00 transactions. The total heft to the package? 300 pages. And it shipped in a box, which can’t have been cheap, even leaving aside the environmental impact of a few hundred thousand folks getting extra-big bills printed on paper.