September 29, 2008

Taking customers for granted; Zain (formally Fastlink) enlightens us with a subtle ad!


One can only blame the Jordanian consumer for almost 40% (a guestmate) of his misfortunes including high-prices, low-quality, bad service and lack of choices and alternatives.

We sort of have it naturally to get corporations and suppliers to take us for granted and treat us like an old mule...

Zain-Jordan announced today that they will start charging their customers for SMS delivery reports, the charge will be at 0.01 JD starting from the 29th of October.

The less than a quarter of page ad with no logo tucked inside the 29th page of Al-Rai daily newspaper on the eve of Eid is very disgruntling and if not a total disrespect of the Jordanian consumer intelligence.

Zain claim in the ad that this move is to "Ensure the utmost quality of service", how is that remotely related? probably by driving most of its subscribers to switch off SMS delivery confirmation option (most won't even bother) on their mobile phones, given that they know how to do this (or aware of it) in the 1st place.

Technically speaking (and as a telecommunication engineer) i know that such non-revenue traffic causes "paging" overhead and does constrain the network a bit, not sure of the volume however there's a responsibility to properly inform the customer of the new charges in a better way, even if it'll cause bad publicity and set a fair charge to it.

Fariness comes first, and if Zain believes that this "overhead" traffic is constraining their network and hence want to "shunt" it off by charging those who "really" wants to receive the confirmation, then by all means, but my guess (with no good faith or space for benefit of doubt) is that some exec thought of this as a new revenue stream after looking over some other country (like Saudi) where such charges is an "accepted" business practice for its been established for far too long.

But here we are the ever so opinionated Jordanians: labeling Umniah as the 7afrtal network, Orange (formally MobileCom) as somewhat official & not so hip (with its own heard of die-hards no doubt) while XPress is almost unheard off (i still get more question marks when i narrate my mobile number starting with 074 five years onwards)... and Zain... "ما في أحسن من الفاصت" Nothing comes better than Fast (short for Fastlink)

I encourage everyone to join this Facebook group highlighting this issue, and raise it up to public attention because honestly; i had it with such foolish practices and the obliviousness of our society.... How is it a beautiful world!

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