John Legere, the chief executive officer of T-Mobile, may be one of the most outspoken head honchos of any corporate out there, but he sure knows when to say sorry when out of line. Indeed, in light of the recent bad publicity with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Legere is issuing an apology to the organization for his offensive remarks he made a week ago.
The EFF had published a report saying that T-Mobile’s new video streaming service Binge On, which allows the wireless carrier’s subscribers to enjoy watching videos without having to worry about their data allowances getting affected, was throttling all kinds of video content, even for customers not subscribed to the feature. Vocal as he is, Legere took to social media to air his comments, some of them adorned with rather colorful words. Later, he publicly defended the Binge On feature via a blog post.
Legere was claiming that mobile users are actually liking the new video streaming feature, with no complaints whatsoever from those who have tried the service. But the EFF stood by its report, and what was worse was that the group was not the only one complaining -- YouTube had also charged earlier that the Binge On service was downgrading the quality of YouTube videos (Note: YouTube is not yet part of Binge On’s list of video content providers).
Legere’s argument centers around the idea that Binge On is simply optimizing video content for mobile viewing. Via Twitter, the EFF had asked Legere if T-Mobile was altering video streams or just plain lowering the bandwidth. Legere responded with a statement laced with profanity, and even asked why the organization was causing so much trouble, and even inquired if anybody is paying the EFF for making life difficult for the wireless carrier. Needless to say, the war of words escalated. It got to a point where one video content provider decided to withdraw its participation of the Binge On service.
But in a recent open letter addressed to mobile users, Legere appears to be in an apologetic mood, stating thus:
“Look, by now you know that I am a vocal, animated and sometimes foul mouthed CEO. I don’t filter myself and you know that no one at T-Mobile filters me either (no, they don’t even try). That means I will sometimes incite a bit of a ‘social media riot,’ but I’m not going to apologize for that. I will however apologize for offending EFF and its supporters. Just because we don’t completely agree on all aspects of Binge On doesn’t mean I don’t see how they fight for consumers.”
Legere may have already stated that he was sorry, but that does not mean that the bad publicity for its new Binge On feature has ended. Sure, bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, but one must wonder when the noise is going to abate.
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