Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get Yourself Another Fool

Back in NZ, It does feel like the land of the rip off at times. Leaving aside the price of gasoline (and that fact that the local oil companies seem to be the only major commercial organisations in the world that have never heard of currency hedging) and consumer electronics (why is an iPod about thirty percent more on the street in New Zealand than anywhere else I’ve been, or for that matter any Apple product; or a cellphone at Vodafone or Telecom’s on-account “subsidized” price way higher than someone in any High Street offshore can obtain).

No, I’m going to leave those to one side but instead whinge about a couple of corporate cons that have rather pissed me off personally in recent weeks.

Vodafone raise their head again firstly, in particular their roaming charges. In NZ we accept that our cellular charges are some of the highest in the world. But these are dwarfed by the cellular charges when reversed from some countries. I have two cellphone accounts, one, with Vodafone in New Zealand, and one with Telkomsel in Indonesia. And have had the opportunity to use both to send SMS messages to NZ. Telkomsel, as with all local Indonesian cellphone companies charge about NZ8c a text to send such a message. However, if you use a NZ account, via an Indonesian network the honest souls at Vodafone charge you 80c for the same privilege, and, assuming that they can buy the time off the Indo cellular networks for the same price that a customer there can, are raking in a 700% profit. They’re certainly loyal to their customers. What great guys.

Then we have the fine folks at DHL NZ. We’ve had the opportunity to send two one page letters from Bali to this part of the world via DHL in recent weeks. The first was sent via our account at DHL NZ, and we assumed, as long standing customers we’d get a preferential rate. The invoice arrived and it came in at an astounding $102. Rather taken aback we went and paid cash for the second. It was available to me, as a person walking in off the street, for under $33. In other words, as a customer I was paying three times as much as a random joe-blow. In the interim we’d also had a street quote from DHL Indonesia to send a parcel to Hawaii. It was $250. Thinking our account would give us an advantage we’d used that, and were billed $392.00 as a reward for our loyalty.

We’d been royally screwed both times.

Vodafone NZ and DHL NZ…what bloody great people. They deserve your business because they really look after their customers.

As you were….

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