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June 06, 2006


Ian Wood

Tomi the problem comes not in the fact that I have had two contract phones for 18 months, thanks in part to the slow launch of 3G services by my first network, but who have me on an original staff tarrif. But also in the fact that the network with who I have a second handset not realising that within my house I also have two other phones on pay as you go. Thus if this network had a crm system that was worth its name it would contact me and ask how they can help these three phones communicate. For a number of years I have had to listen to marketing people talk about family schemes which would allow such a system to work only to be told that it is not possible because of issues with the billing platform and data protection. However I think that it is more likely that the issue is one of Networks unwilling to reduce on network call prices. Perhaps the move to services such as Genion by O2 Germany will at last see some form of innovation in muiltiple phones houses.

My niece carries a single handset but 4 different SIM cards so that she can speak with Work, Family, Friends and Boyfriend depending on the situation and location. She is the most extreme example I have seen of someone to who Mobile Phones have always been around and who has had one for over ten years!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Ian

Very good points, thank you. Yes, I hear this often. A typical very bad example is where an aggressive operator outbound sales effort targets your "second" subscription, not knowing you ALREADY have your primary subscription on their network. So for a hypothetical example, if I had subscriptions in the UK on Vodafone and Orange, and I get a call to my Orange phone, trying to convert me to Vodafone, clearly not knowing that I was also on Vodafone already. This kind of marketing causes a lot of bad will with customers...

Yes, its a new issue for our industry, and one that is very poorly undestood. Your daughter is a perfect example of Generation-C behaviour, and we're seeing it all over the planet.

In Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe it has become so common to switch subscriptions, that the latest phone number is a kind of status symbol and a sign of how close you are to a given customer - if you don't have their latest number, then you must not be very close to them. That kind of thinking.

A new world of marketing, and one which is dumbfounding the mobile operators today.

Thanks for writing Ian!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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