Sunday, August 24, 2008

AT&T Finds Its Inner Geek, Launches In-Home Services

AT&T (NYSE:T) wants to be your new Geek Squad.

The Dallas-based communications
giant has launched a nationwide in-home service for PC, TV and home
theater setup and support, dubbed ConnecTech. It's a move by AT&T
to get in on the multibillion-dollar in-home services market.

Having trouble hanging that flat screen? Call AT&T. Wireless network keep conking out? See if ConnecTech can help.

According to AT&T, ConnecTech is "a 50-state,
all-encompassing home services care program that is designed to take
customer service, and the company's own support capabilities, to the
next level."

AT&T said ConnecTech can handle all in-home services needs and offers television and home theater installation; personal computer and home network setup; and a laundry list of repair services.

"AT&T has long been a familiar face in the homes of
Americans—first installing phone service, high-speed Internet service
and now AT&T U-verse TV," AT&T's senior vice president of
consumer marketing operations, Carmen Nava, said in statement.

Consumers can view and order services by visiting a recently launched AT&T ConnecTech Web site.

The goal of ConnecTech, which will put it into direct competition with Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)'s
Geek Squad in-home services and a host of others, is to offer customers
in-home and over-the-phone support including next-day service
installation for TV and PC needs such as customer installation of home
theater equipment; flat-panel TV wall mounting and home video
installation; wall-mount speaker installation; new PC orApple (NSDQ: AAPL)
computer installation and the startup of a home desktop or notebook,
including e-mail, security configuration and device networking; and PC
repair service, including parts and hardware replacement. Additional
services include home network installation of multiple
broadband-enabled devices; computer and network diagnosis covering software and router configuration, settings, virus, spyware or operating system errors; and remote PC and phone support for other digital products like digital cameras, MP3 players and others.

"The home services industry represents a billion-dollar marketplace,"
said Nava in the statement. "We're using our strength in TV and broadband services to integrate both the product and care needs of today's digital consumer."

According to the ConnecTech Web site, computer and network installation
starts at $99; computer services and in-home support starts at $179;
television and home theater services start at $149; and PC and home
network phone support start at $69.

AT&T noted that ConnecTech services are available seven days a week.

Credit : ( By Andrew R Hickey )