Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fluffikins the Phone Company

Fluffikins the Phone Company will be offering state-of-the-art equipmentConflicting reports in some of today's papers. Emirates Today says the new telco will not be competing on price. 6Days says it will. Whatever. Having seen the stream of drivel emanating from the TRA ever since it was established, it is clear that the main thing that telecoms users want (prices on a par with the rest of the world) will not come easily. The main reason for this is the 50% profits surcharge that both companies must pay to the Government. Even though the Government is already a major shareholder in both companies and presumably gets a dividend from the profits.

The imaginatively named Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company has a great opportunity here. I hope they don't blow it. I hope they will listen to what consumers say they want, and convince the TRA to let them do it. So here's my wishlist:

Significantly lower prices for everything.

Great customer service: counter staff who are trained to treat customers as deities rather than potential criminals.

Lots of small offices in convenient locations (I could not believe how many high street shops the likes of Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Virgin have in the UK - and no queues). And/or lots of payment machines that accept payment for everything.

Serious reduction in red tape. If irrelevant rubbish like tenancy contracts and passport copies going back three generations is required at all, then these things are recorded once and are never needed again. It's a phone company, not a branch of the Secret Service.

A coherent PR strategy that does not treat customers like morons, and does not lie to them.

Did I mention lower prices?

Deposit-free international roaming.

Optional proxy for Interweb access.

And a nice fluffy food-based brand image like Apple, Orange or Egg. Cheese, Banana, Shawarma. Something like that.

Not much to ask, is it? Fluffikins the Phone Company is expecting to start services in the latter half of 2006. They have a daunting task ahead of them, but I wish them the best of luck, I really do. They're gonna need it.

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Blogger nzm said...

Is the new Telco a private company or still owned by the gubment?

I can see it getting ugly when it comes to competition - they'll introduce some great new scheme, only to have to cancel/raise prices because suddenly the supplier will raise their supply prices or compete at a lower price.

The lower prices may be good for the comsumer, but still don't extend/improve the services. I saw this happen in NZ between Telecom and Telstra.

As you say - good luck to them - and I really hope that they succeed.

Speaking of 6days - anyone able to access their website?

It's been down all day today for me - 25th Jan.

Hope they're not in trouble for their OBL Book Club articles!


4:44 pm  
Blogger Seabee said...

Don't hold your breath Keefieboy!

7:09 pm  
Blogger Deepak Morris said...

Actually, it's quite easy to get the entities in question to fall in line - get Tom Peters and his ilk (who are raving about Fly-Buy-Dubai, incidentally) to actually try to do business in Do Buy land.

Not fancy lectures in Five-Star Hotels - real, nitty-gritty, sand-in-your-shorts business. Y'know, the sustainable kind.

Hey, I'm battling fluctuating current but even I can go to the corner shop and select my telecom service provider. Now they're falling over themselves to get me to pay the equivalent of Dhs 99 and never recharge my mobile balance till I die. Incoming till I die.

If India can do, do buy can do.


11:54 pm  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

My girlfriend works for this new telecoms company, and it is a clusterfuck from start to finish ... even before it has officially opened.

Most of the staff don't bother showing up on time, the management is either non-existent or hopeless, and the whole shooting match seems unorganised and uncoordinated.

So no, I'll not hold my breath either.

10:04 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Tim: OMG!

1:34 pm  
Blogger Omni said...

American phone companies have gotten tense and desperate, because cell phones are taking all their business; to combat this, they keep RAISING their prices. :-O

(Click here if you dare)

11:41 am  

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