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Telcos make Kipp angry. Again
Viber is okay, but Skype isn’t, apparently, which makes no sense. Meanwhile, telcos are charging customers thousands for innocent mistakes. Sigh. Why must life be so hard?
January 17, 2011 3:30 by Samuel Potter
We think you can see where we’re going with this. Kipp pays for its internet subscription fair and square, and we want to use Skype from our computer to call another computer. HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT?!
Sorry, there was that rage again.
Although actually, we’ll tell you one way it is different. From what we gather from our friends who have taken up smartphone deals with the telcos, the ‘data packages’ are notoriously difficult things to get a handle on. And if you get it wrong, it will cost you, and cost you, and cost you and cost you some more. No wonder Du is happy for you to use Viber; if it helps get you above your data allowance they own pretty much your whole salary and then some.
Alex McNabb, our regular guest blogger, fell foul of the data danger. In two or three days above his mobile internet allowance he racked up a bill of AED 1,200. In his blog he says: “You’d have thought Etisalat would send you a text when you got to the 10Mb mark, wouldn’t you? But that would be far too sensible. They’d rather bill their unsuspecting, arguably duped, customers for the lesson.”
Meanwhile Kipp knows at least four other friends whose bills have climbed into the thousands of dirhams. One guy was arrested at the airport after his telco mischarged him, then reported him to the police who slapped a travel ban on him. To avoid a trip to prison he was forced to pay a bill for AED 12,000 that he argues was a mistake in the first place. And if you think all this can be nicely sorted out by the telcos’ customer service department, good luck to you.
Kipp doesn’t think the telcos are evil, but we do think they are inefficient and unreliable and stunningly bad at communicating. We take this opportunity to caution the “almost a third” of consumers in the Middle East who plan to buy a new smartphone this year, and the 43 percent of people who plan to use a smartphone to access the internet: Know what your deal is, keep track of your usage, and most importantly keep a close eye on your bill.
Or better yet, be more like Kipp and rely on fax. Now, if you want the next article, push “receive.”
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