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AT&T to Verizon: We Have a Lawsuit for That

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mapforthatIn the time-honored tradition of dealing with competition by suing the pants off someone for an inaccurate ad, AT&T (s T) today filed suit against Verizon (s VZ)  for its “There’s a Map for That” advertising campaign. The AT&T complaint alleges that the Verizon ads use misleading maps that show wide areas of the country where AT&T doesn’t have 3G coverage, and implies that in those areas AT&T has no coverage at all. The two companies had been back and forth since Oct. 7 on the ads, with Verizon apparently tweaking them a bit, and adding some fine print, but AT&T isn’t satisfied. So it wants them taken off the air and Verizon to pay for any losses incurred by AT&T as a result of the ad being successful.

Telecommunications and cable history is filled with such lawsuits, with AT&T filing a false advertising claim against Verizon earlier this year to stop Verizon from calling itself “America’s Most Reliable 3G Network” and “America’s Best 3G Network” and “America’s Most Reliable Wireless Network.” Verizon actually took that to court to force AT&T to prove it wrong. Verizon has not only been the recipient of such lawsuits but also the instigator, when last year it sued Time Warner Cable for its ads that implied Verizon’s FiOS service was akin to satellite TV. What’s so sad about these lawsuits is it shows how much advertising can sway public perception of a product, and for many, how hard it is to distinguish among providers.

29 Responses to “AT&T to Verizon: We Have a Lawsuit for That”

  1. boogla

    verizon is better at least where i live. my friend has at&t and when we go driving she doesn’t get service (mostly in the boonies). i do though and that’s because i have verizon. :)

  2. i work in the industry as well, and have seen both coverage maps for 3g. yes Verizons map is a lie, but their 3g coverage is literally about 5 times more than at&ts. the map they show for at&ts is actually a compliment to what the coverage actually is.

  3. Well I do know that according to that map I wouldn’t be getting 3g in a lot of places I go to. And it do get 3g, so its just a load of crap. just like those Lysol commercials showing how lysol gets rid of the smell at the source, but that was only true because they sprayed the lysol in the trash can, and the oust in the air, which they knew wouldn’t do anything. Just stupid advertisers immaturely pointing fingers at other businesses.

  4. I work in the industry, and I’m pretty familiar with the REAL coverage involved and the games these companies both play (I don’t work for either of them). Verizon’s ad is as close to an outright lie as I’ve ever seen from any major company in any industry in any advertisement. It’s the wireless industry equivalent of Ford running an ad saying that no GM car gets more than 10 mpg, while every Ford gets at least 40 mpg. Sure, you could develop some double standard designed to get those results, but they only reinforce the calculated nature of the deception. Verizon will lose this lawsuit and lose huge unless they settle quickly.

    The irony is that Verizon threatens to sue literally anyone that refers to them in an advertisement, regardless of any rational basis to do so. I’ve think they’ve outsourced this function to a call center overseas…I’m only half-kidding.

    But the points about AT&T’s network are well taken too. It is oversubscribed and basically in meltdown. Verizon should focus on that instead of making blatantly false claims about coverage. Theirs is pretty embarassing too, by the way.

  5. Who’s Verizon gonna’ pick on next, TMobile maybe? I mean, they ought to after TMobile’s latest Blackberry and Danger debacles. LOL

    Full Disclosure: I’m a TMobile customer.

  6. I can personally verify that that Verizon map is full of it – I can take you to areas where there’s barely Verizon voice say nothing of 3G – areas big enough to show up on that map that don’t.

    • All the carriers maps are full of it. As an AT&T customer all I know is that I can’t get coverage at my house even though I can walk 5 paces and see the skyline of San Francisco. And yes, the coverage map shows that I should be good to go.

      Personally I love the ads, mostly because they ring true (my wife has an iPhone which is often lacking a 3G connection, even when it claims to have one ;) ). The grass looks a lot greener over in the Verizon pasture right now (though I’m sure that’s not entirely the case).

      • Will Wood

        No, you’re wrong. That is entirely the case. Verizon is better.

        The only thing AT&T has is the best phone. Verizon is better with customer service (not great, but still better than AT&T). Verizon has a better network and Verizon has much better financials reported with the SEC. Ticker: VZ and Ticker: T

        It’s long been rumored that Verizon and Nokia are working on a tablet phone for Verizon’s new 4G/LTE network. This device will be similar to the currently available Nokia N900 and is likely to be in its own category, pushing the smartphone envelope way beyond the iPhone.

        Also, for right now, the Droid is real nice, in that all of its purported features work all of the time and because it does a few minor things that the iPhone can’t (take better pictures, take pictures at night, interchangeable batteries, simultaneous apps, widgets, fully customizable interface….)

        Personally, I would take a fully-functioning Droid right now that works on 3G all over the country versus an iPhone that is limited by its network in its true capabilities (MMS/Tethering) and only runs EDGE for data in the majority of the country…

        AT&T’s lawsuit is baseless. Why shouldn’t Verizon be allowed to brag about their far superior 3G network?? Even AT&T in their very suit doesn’t deny that AT&T has “far broader” 3G coverage (although they are sure to mention that AT&T’s 3G is faster–if you can find it.)

  7. Man, maybe AT+T should spend the money in expanding their 3G coverage than on frivolous lawsuits.

    This lawsuit implies that AT+T thinks the consumer is too stupid to understand the difference between any coverage and 3G coverage.

    • Wow, you are so stupid. They are spending money on 3g coverage, they just have to stop people from leaving att due to the fake map advertising, their 3g coverage is almost as good at verizons. So do your hw before you comment. Thank You

      • “it’d also suck to live in northern alaska”

        That’s funny as my wife does live in farthest northern Alaska. In Barrow she has AT&T for her iPhone but no data service, turning her iPhone into a “dumb phone”. In Juneau, the state capitol, we have only the pathetically slow edge network.

  8. btw is that the actual image from the commercial? If so, then I understand how labeling a map 3g coverage would make people think its referring to something else… I would be very interested to see the discovery in this law suit.

  9. I hope AT&T wins this. Because if they do, I’m suing them for their fraudulent coverage map that shows 3G coverage in my neighborhood when in fact, there isn’t.