Call me an old-fashion capitalist if you like, but what company in the world does not try to get its customers to spend more on their products? Isn’t that what business is all about?
Why is the telecommunication industry always picked on as the contributor to such social malaises as overspending and bill shock? The mobile phone has changed the world so significantly (just watch the movie Zodiac and observe the way the telephone was used back in the 1970s to get a sense of this) and, together with the internet, has led to a surge in the level of communication between people. This has value and utility to consumers, and therefore they are prepared to pay for it.
Instead, academia are more interested in the the potential social evils associated with mobile phones, and protecting our youngsters.
Chris Althaus, CEO of AMTA responds that the industry is aware of this, and has implemented a variety of initiatives to make consumers more aware. Yes and no. While pre-paid allows true control of your spend, the price you pay is high – literally. Actual call rates are quite exhorbitant for most pre-paid customers. And don’t get me started on capped plans – they are the ultimate in consumer deception.
I’m a firm believer in the free market. And at the end of the day, customers have and will vote with their feet. In particular, the youth market are the most savvy around and are not as easily fooled as people make out.