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Summary:

AT&T plans to sell its triple-play U-Verse services through more than 600 Circuit City and Wal-Mart retail stores beginning this month.

AT&T plans to sell its triple-play U-verse services through more than 600 Circuit City and  Wal-Mart retail stores beginning this month. There are a few things about this plan that just don’t make sense. First, the choice of stores, namely the floundering Circuit City, is perplexing. Why not a more successful electronics retailer such as Best Buy, which already is stocking the iPhone and working to sell other services contracts? Update: AT&T got back to me to say that they do sell U-verse in Best Buy.

The other odd thing about this announcement is the idea that consumers will go to a retail location to learn about their broadband, voice and video services rather than through a traditional television, mailing or online ad campaign. Essentially this is another, potentially more interactive form of advertising, which could be a good thing given the current cable attack ads around HD channel delivery and what qualifies as a fiber network. However, the strategy looks expensive, and it seems to indicate that AT&T is having a hard time signing up the 1 million U-verse subscribers it says it will have by the end of the year.

  1. looks like there strategy is to sell an upgraded broadband connection simultaneous to a new computer.

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  2. Stacey Higginbotham Monday, October 13, 2008

    Given some of the user complaints about U-verse installs posted here and elsewhere, I imagine customers buying both at the same time from a retail outlet are likely to be disappointed in both the wait between purchase and possibly the installation. That seems like a recipe for churn, as well as negative word-of-mouth advertising among the average consumers AT&T is trying to reach here.

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  3. [...] AT&T Partnering with Retail Chains; telco to sell its U-verse service through 600 Circuit City and Wal-Mart retail stores. (GigaOM) [...]

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  4. [...] AT&T Partnering with Retail Chains; telco to sell its U-verse service through 600 Circuit City and Wal-Mart retail stores. (GigaOM) [...]

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  5. As a past U-verse customer, I agree with Stacey. With the kind of bad experience we had with service, will never recommend anyone to use U-verse.

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  6. How can they sell a product that takes hours to install oh YEAH I FORGOT! It’s not in my neighborhood yet! Maybe in about a year or so If I’m lucky. AT&T You’re world delivered great matto! To bad they can’t…
    Keep up the good work Randall…

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  7. that acquisition costs are very expensive for them…bounties for selling, marketing materials, in-store displays, 3rd party or AT&T badged merchandizing teams. AND they are not leveraging any of the former Cingular teams to drive this.

    but they must play at retail as cable has been very successful at selling the triple play there for some time at Best Buy, Circuit and Walmart.

    Best Buy and CCY are more aligned with DTV for video and will continue to sell more there that Uverse, DSL and any landline voice package.

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