Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bizarre headline story

Gulf News has done it again!

Today's headline story is...a non-story. It doesn't tell us anything. Nothing. But they make it the headline feature.

Even more bizarre is that, having told us nothing, they ask us to write to them telling them whether we think it's a good idea.

The non-story is based on a Monty Pythonesque idea from the newly customer-centric Etisalat, which says it is thinking about basing its charges on users' professions.

Eisa Al Hadad, Etisalat's Executive Vice-President for Marketing, told Gulf News "We have a plan to divide our subscribers into segments or group of professionals and create a number of new services and incentives for users who use our facilities most."

Note the words "we have a plan". As usual in reports from our 'journalists' there's no information, no detail, no dates, no prices...

And yet, the non-story ends with:

Have your say
Do you think Etisalat's plans to separate subscription rates based on professions is a good idea?
Will it encourage you to make more phone calls?

They live in some parallel universe, I swear.


archer14 said...

This is a teaser - and don't we all love teasers?
Except that the teaser makes us cringe, as the same movie has been playing from decades in the same freaking theaters who ocassionaly rotate their speakers so that the movie sounds different every once in a while. Now people have given up on these theaters.
They instead buy calling cards from India and send the numbers across to them, so that their family calls them. A call from a private Indian operator (subscription based) to Dubai costs as less as 8 Rs/min (approx 60 fils), and here it costs Dhs.1.80/min (off peak). People aren't idiots to not notice this disparity.

There are no two ways about this. Etisalat is desperately trying to woo the middle class who have refused to use the phone for making extended calls to home. For the simple reasons a layman could think of.

Seabee said...

A teaser archer!?

They've made it the page one headline story, the most important story, given it prominence over all other stories...

archer14 said...

Yes, a teaser it is. These are points that they might implement. There's no assurance of anything.
And just as teasers go, they keep people at the edge of their seat. Only for them to sit back and snore open mouthed when the show begins!

trailingspouse said...

Truly bizarre . . . subscription rates based on profession . . . why not shoe size or eye colour? This place gets more like Alice in Wonderland everyday.

Seabee said...

Indeed archer - but my point is why have GN made it the lead story. If they're going to write a story saying nothing about something that may or may not happen...why not put one small para on page 210? Why make it the headline, Page 1, lead story?

Anonymous said...

Du you think it could just be about front page exposure?
Du you think with the new network coming in it could just be about brand awareness?
Du you think that with the advent of a competitor that may actaually worry about the the consumer they may just be startimg to try and persuade us all the care?
Du you think they may be a little worried?
Du you?

Seabee said...

It's almost cetainly the old ploy of floating an idea to see what the reaction is.

The media once again falling over themselves to assist the authorities.

Seabee said...

anonymous - no, I don't think du matters much to them. Both telcos are controlled by the government and the regulatory authority tells them what they can do.

Keefieboy said...

Just imagine: free calls for labourers except on Fridays when the rates will be twice what they are now. Subsidised calls for Government employees. Private sector only allowed to make calls on four days of the week. The possibilities are endless.

And just imagine the hurdles they'll make you go through to prove your profession!