Cingular vs. Verizon, in: You’ll Vote How We Say

by redshift

Tonight’s American Idol was fairly unremarkable. Bo Bice was only moderate, Constantine picked another horrible song, and Mario was probably the best of a mediocre group. Scott sucked and should be gone. Even the person the judges said was best, Anwar, was terribly pitchy.

The truly interesting thing was in the voting. I have a Verizon phone, and we all know Idol is a Cingular (formerly AT&T Wireless) gig. For a full 45 minutes, I was unable to vote – not because the lines were busy, as usual, but because the phone number was actually declared out of service. I get the friendly Verizon Darth Vader operator telling me that the number I dialed, which was correct, did not exist. This happened for any contestant I tried voting for, and didn’t stop for at least 45 minutes. At this point I could get in two votes, but the line was quickly out of service again for the full voting period. Not a circuit busy, please try again, nor a busy signal, but a bad number.

Is it possible that Verizon was, in fact, blocking these calls? On one hand, they could fight Cingular by shutting off intercommunication. On the other hand, they’re degrading their own network and making people wish they had the service that worked.

I still wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was intentional. AT&T + Cingular is a pretty imposing beast, and “In” is just not succeeding like they hoped (how about you hire good marketers for a change? and dump the “good” guy, FFS).