I was just speaking with my friend Andy Abramson and he mentioned in passing that he’d just written a post that discusses AT&T Mobility’s strange use of the word now as it relates to the availability of the new iPhone 3G.
It seems, based upon Andy’s experience, that AT&T believes that “now available” actually means some time in the next ten days to three weeks. Andy goes on to provide a number of dictionary.com definitions for the word “now”. Not surprisingly, none of these definitions have any mention of a delay of ten days to three weeks or anything even remotely like it. In fact they all pretty clearly indicate that now is a term that should be reserved for an action occurring at that moment. Not in ten minutes and certainly not in ten days.
So what is the deal with AT&T? Why do they believe that they can be so liberal with their choice of words and furthermore why should we, as consumers, not take exception to their use of this term as a misleading – in fact even fraudulent statement upon which we may detrimentally rely?
As a point of fact, Andy also pulled the Wikipedia definition of “False Advertising” and from that information it is exceedingly obvious that AT&T is engaging in a false and deceptive practice with respect to their marketing of a device as now available when in fact it isn’t available anything like “now” and won’t be avaible for as long as 3/4 of a month.
Most intersting (or ironic) is the fact that (as Andy observes) AT&T certainly wouldn’t appreciate it if all of its customers adopted AT&T’s version of “now” when it came to the terms of payment on all of our phone bills.
After all, I’m sure none of us would object to AT&T’s new definition of “now” if it also applied to the “now” on our bills where we see an amount outstanding and the words “now due”. Somehow though I doubt if AT&T’s collection department would be nearly so understanding if we were to adopt AT&T’s marketing department’s version of “now”. Nope. I’m sure that they would tell us that now does not mean in three weeks no matter what the posters in their store windows say. Anyone want to file a class action?