“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Geed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind”
– Gordon Gecko in the movie ‘Wall Street‘
A time is fast approaching when telling me you are on MTN will lead me to question your ability to make intelligent, analytical and critical life decisions. It will no longer be enough to say, “it’s cheaper: all my friends are there. ” People will value being respected over receiving breadcrumbs.
A couple of weeks back, Vodafone and Zain announced they were lowering their call rates to 8 pesewas a minute, lower than any other network. This is exactly the kind of price war Ghanaians deserve and have been waiting for.
I heard a rumour on Twitter that MTN were going to launch a response that would really raise eyebrows. There was even going to be a campaign to go along with it. I was pessimistic. Typical, I thought. Most of the money will probably go on an expensive ad campaign that their customers would end up paying for. A few days later, the news dropped: MTN was lowering its fees to (drum roll)…
7.5 pesewas a minute!
Yep. That was it. They were beating their competitors by the slimmest margin they could get away with without looking like complete Scrooges. Oh no… but there was more. Their rates would drop to 7.5 pesewas… but only after you have spoken for three minutes.
Wow. Pardon me for being completely underwhelmed and leaving my eyebrows set at ‘Vaguely Unamused/Broadly disinterested‘.
MTN was the first telecom network I subscribed to upon moving back to Ghana. I quickly left: I was used to receiving good service in exchange for money. I didn’t see why I had to take my phone to a center to be configured to use their internet package. Nor why my calls kept dropping. Why I could call someone standing next to me with their phone on and MTN would tell me their phone was off. Nor why my friends and family in London had trouble getting me.
I subsequently explored the other networks and realized they were all as bad as each other, really. MTN is by no means the only telecom provider providing Ghanaians with shoddy services in relation to what we pay for and are promised in return.
MTN does have a near-monopoly on the market. Its market share surpasses that of all the other telecom providers combined. MTN makes more money than its competition in a market in which a lot of money is generally being made. As such, I hold MTN to a higher standard. Sorry MTN, but that’s the price you pay for – well – being so patently well paid.
Through the company’s ubiquitous ad campaigns and promotions, the network generally claims supremacy in everything telecom-related. Yet last week, when MTN had the chance to show genuine leadership and give something back to its customers (besides raffles and giveaways), it completely failed to do so.
7.5 pesewas? Only after 3 minutes?
I’m sorry but if that isn’t Gordon Gecko-like greed, then I don’t know what is. MTN is the biggest telecom network in Ghana and one of Ghana’s richest companies. Not only can they afford to lower their rates a lot lower than 7.5 pesewas, but they can also do without this after-3 minutes nonsense. I would feel so insulted if I was still an MTN customer. Thankfully, I’m not.
MTN’s slogan is ‘Everywhere You Go’. Judging by the Facebook & Twitter conversations I’ve seen since the company made its big announcement, they may as well change it to:
‘We don’t reeeeeeeally care about you: we are simply here to make money (you gullible, gullible b*****s)‘
Sadly, the way Ghana is pro-money-over-everything right now, we’d probably understand.
As far as I’m concerned, mobile compatibility (or is it comportability?) cannot come fast enough. Then MTN can experience real market competition/losses… which should in turn make them work harder at providing better services… instead of this slow drift towards becoming a full-time event promotion firm.