Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conspiracy Theories

In a swanky office, decorated in white and black, and perhaps a smattering of green, a meeting between three people goes on amidst cups of coffee and cigarettes.

New Kid:   Listen here... I've got an idea to make our ISP more accessible
Bored Boss: Really? Like what? Promote it in malls? Roadshows? Been there, done that, kiddo.
Another Bored Boss: What we need is for the customer to love our service so much that they'll stick with us through thin
New Kid:  You mean through thick or thin?                       
(Ever the pedant)

Another Bored Boss:  Trust me, work here long enough... and you'll realise we only have it thin.
New Kid:  Ok. Then just let us make it inconvenient for them to terminate the account.

(Both the Bored Boss and Another Bored Boss turn and look at the New Kid with renewed interest)

Bored Boss:  Tell us more... we're listening
New Kid:  Well, we let them register anywhere possible... say during the roadshow and such even at MEPs which we seem to be underutilising at the moment. We make registration easy peasy, and people will take for granted that terminating the account will be easy as well. Or we make them believe so. But in reality... they can only terminate the accounts at selected centres, which don't open after office hours. How's that?
Bored Boss:    You little genius! Let's celebrate.
(all the three of them start laughing)
The box that holds the modem.

In view of a fairly recent event, I have come to the conclusion that as a consumer, you are almost always the loser in the end. *Just how big a loser you are depends on certain factors, such as the service involved, how greedy the corporation that provides the service is, how successful they are, and probably which country you live in and where the service comes from.

The other day, I had decided that it was time to say goodbye to the old ISP,  after having complied to their one year contract. While their service wasn't really that bad in the beginning, the past few months was a bit of a torture. No one wants to wait for 30 minutes for a 3 minute video to buffer, you see. I suspect that they had taken more customers who were eating into the bandwith than they could handle, especially after offering several cheap packages. But that's a different story...

Anyway, I walk into their centre on Monday evening, the very same one where I registered for their service over one disillusioned Sunday over a year ago, and tell the unfriendly staff my intentions. He gives one look at the box, and nonchalantly informs me that they cannot terminate accounts in their centre (they call it MEP according to the website, whatever that means) and I will need to go to a proper centre for such an evil intention.(The guy didn't exactly use the word proper, or even evil for that matter... he said something, which I understood the meaning of without really comprehending each word)

So it seems that they in the MEP centres are authorised to allow you to register for an account there, but the simple act of termination needs you to go out of your way and take leave (or waste your Saturday morning!) because it can only be done at certain centres which unfortunately open only at those times. What the hell?

* after all, this post is all about theories...

8 comments:

  1. i want to own this but i'm attached to streamyx!

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  2. It's not as great as it should be... I even had better connection with streamyx 512 kbps package.

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  3. I know all about these sneaky conspiracy theories when it comes to ISP's!

    I really hope one day we would have real internet connection instead of the crooks that we have now ...

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  4. Oh yeah, sneaky they are... I'm so annoyed.

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  5. I'm a fan of conspiracy theories - or at least acknowledging the existence of evil planning!

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  6. I don't think you are actually stretching much on this one. They are evil.

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  7. Well you know my thoughts on the ISP service you have. I think it's totally unacceptable.

    We have the same issue here with mobile phones. You get a 2 year contract and even if the service is terrible, they will charge you a very hefty termination fee. How to fight back? Haggle them to keep giving you better phones.

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  8. AHD: Me too... evil corporations = evil planning.

    SAW: Hehehe... not much exaggerations here, except for the imagined dialogue (although they might have done something similar at some point)

    Ricardo: Well, it's the developing nation vs developed nation status, I guess. I can't stand my mobile service provider either... coincidentally, they are from the same company.

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