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Telcos make Kipp angry. Again

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

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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  1. Yousaf on January 18, 2011 10:23 am

    to be honest, i never subscribed to anything other
    than of normal calling, even i don’t respond to Cash Back offers, and Data…. no way. This is because I don’t trust the Telecom.

    I use my smartphone only on Wireless networks because I found wireless on most of the places, i.e. home, office, malls, coffee shops.

    Another spice to the offers is unlimited data on 3.5G network, why would you have unlimited data when it is 2GB, the most expensive package in the world. Charge reasonable price and give freedom to users in order to retain them. Teleco’s revenue will be more in that case.

    I always go for prepaid, no billing, no subscription, nothing!! because I am afraid of Telecos.. :o)

  2. Dan on January 18, 2011 1:41 pm

    I agree with you Yousaf.

    Thats what I do as well. I am not a sucker for those data packages which quite frankly rob you blind. Neither of the Telecoms are willing to ‘really’ compete. Sure prices on phones are stablizing or more or less decreasing while we are getting at times seemingly tempting offers. At any rate, there is no competition on prices. Neither on call charges nor data bundles. In fact, they are actually on the rise when compared to just a few years ago. Availing the notion that there is no duopoly is mere ignorance to say the least. As long as there are only ‘semi-government’ telecos on coming into the market, price is only going to go up. They should ease there charges or at least halt their growth till finances and job security stablizes. Among the only industry that actually making record profits is telecom. Sure, recently Etisalat dropped in profit but du rose staggeringly. With the notion of duopoly in mind, remember this: If one goes down and the other goes up, they both go up. Frankly speaking, the only way for prices to go down is for a foreign operator gets in to the market. However, even if successful, this success may go downhill for us consumers if corporate decisions undergo filtering system of the TRA.


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