When a Business Model Goes Rogue
The T-Mobile Store
I accompanied Peggy to a T-Mobile retailer in Philly. The smartypants sales kid spoke tech-spiel and was frankly dismissive of Peggy who was more than twice his age and probably made six-times his income.
We walked out and found another T-Mobile store. Peggy told the sales person she travels internationally and we would be going to Moscow.
No problem we were told. T-Mobile works just fine in Moscow.
What kind of phone did Peggy want? Peggy liked the BlackBerry service, but the Apple iPhone was hot and BlackBerry was not. Media coverage of Research in Motion (RIM)—makers of BlackBerry—predicted catastrophe.
Peggy finally decided on a Droid, and was given absolute assurance it would work in Moscow.
It did not work in Moscow.
In late August 2013, Peggy went to World Curling Federation meetings in Copenhagen. Her flashy T-Mobile Droid did not work in Denmark. She wanted to call me but had no service. We emailed instead.
As readers may remember, late in the summer I was the victim of a home invasion.
The perp got my wallet with $500 cash, all the usual credit cards and I.D. documents, plus my antique Samsung cellphone.
Because I am a lone wolf who works out of the house, I don't need a smartphone for email, Internet or snazzy apps. So we went to the T-Mobile store to get me a plain vanilla phone enabling me to make and receive calls.
How AT&T Destroyed T-Mobile
At T-Mobile, I asked why Peggy's Droid not work in Copenhagen.
The young sales person said that T-Mobile had been bought by AT&T. Domestic and international services are now separate.
For Peggy to have used her Droid internationally, the phone had to be "unlocked" by T-Mobile. When Peggy got to Copenhagen, she would have had to go to phone store to get some kind of card to insert in the phone to make it work.