Mea Culpa: AT&T Backs Down After Threatening CEO Emailer

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Steve Jobs not withstanding, it is rare for the CEO of a gazillion-dollar tech company to enter into email discussions with Joe Schmoe. 

iPhone owner Giorgio G. found this out the hard way; when AT&T announced their new data plans (including the end of the unlimited plan offered with 3G iPads), Giorgio voiced his displeasure in an email to Randall Stephenson (who just HAPPENS to be the Death Star's CEO).  Two weeks prior, Giorgio had emailed Stephenson to inquire about bumping up his phone upgrade eligibility date to get an iPhone 4G.  That didn't get a response, but the second email did: a voicemail from AT&T's executive response team, threatening him with a cease and desist letter if he bothered the CEO again.

Giorgio promptly publicized both the emails and the threat — and AT&T had no choice but to offer a public apology: "We are apologizing to our customer. We're working with him today to address his questions and concerns. This is not the way we want to treat customers. From Facebook to significant customer service channels, AT&T strives to provide our customers with easy ways to have their questions addressed."

A nice gesture — but for Giorgio, too little, too late: he's taking his business to Sprint and springing for an EVO 4G.

[So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, via MobileCrunch]