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Shedding customers

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in your endeavours and as you pursue new challenges and seek to stick to your new year’s resolutions. And while many have undoubtedly made that decision to spend the next 12 months losing weight and shedding excess pounds, one major telecoms company seems to also be intent on shedding some pounds of its own, in the form of customers.

This is the only logical explanation I could come up with following two very controversial moves by the company as it relates to its mobile data services. One comes in the form of a very sudden and quite drastic increase in the cost of the packages, with the larger packages (3GB, 5GB and 8GB) hit the hardest.

A once $38.30 3GB data plan is now $83.75, and a $50 plan has skyrocketed to a whopping $167.30 – that’s a 300 per cent increase overnight. And while rumours of network improvements continue to brew in the mills, no real plausible reason for such a drastic increase has been given.

And if that wasn’t enough, the company has gone the extra mile combining both diet and exercise to guarantee customers lose weight. Not only will you be pay more for your data plan, but you will now be able to do less, thanks to the restriction of Voice over IP (VoIP) services by the company.

Recent outrage on the company’s Facebook page only begins to paint the picture of frustration customers now face due to the new restrictions on apps such as FaceTime, Skype, MagicJack, even Viber. The new VoIP calls built into the new BBM seems soon to follow, along with any app which would allow for calls to be made over the company’s mobile data network.

When questions were raised about this new stance, customers were directed to company’s “Fair use policy”, which in a nutshell is a policy put in place to prevent bandwidth hungry users from consuming all the useable bandwidth and generally overhelming the service. Its representatives said the move was made because these services are heavy and place extensive pressure on the backbone of the service, which is all well and good except for one thing.

We are still being able to stream music services and videos (provided you don’t have a BlackBerry) and some of these streams are in extreme high quality, which would put more strain on the network in my opinion, than a few Skype calls. And without a doubt I can say they are way more persons streaming videos on YouTube and Facebook than the handful of persons using VoIP services for much more important matters.

I am not quite sure how these decisions are made but I for one would like some form of logical explanation rather than a letter stating the new costs of services. So would someone post a message, an email, a press release on the website – something just to shed some light on this new stance.

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