Friday, February 24, 2012

Free ! - by Name, if not...

I must have had my first taste of internet around the turn of the century.

Using an ISP called Oreka which had the strange business model of offering free internet access,
even including free telephone time!
But limited to 4 hours per month.
For a family of 6...

Internet access was a tense affair then, with forward planning, gurgling modems, stop-watches, instant deconnection as soon as you had what you wanted on the screen & Excel charts of accumulated time per person.
Not suprisingly, Oreka soon bit the dust.

Next, we used Liberty Surf, which was initially also free, but later merely cheap.
Libertysurf was taken over by Tiscali, which was then taken over by Alice, taking us with it at each step.
Still at the low-cost end of the market, we have been paying 29.99€/month for unlimited amounts of something we simply could not do without these days.

Now Alice has been taken over by Free! (the exclamation mark is theirs, not mine).
Not sure how you can get away with a name like that, without doing what it says on the packet, but free they are not.

I expected them to simply roll Alice into Free &  force us to bigger & better offers (TV etc) which we don't want, and it was a pleasant surprise when they only pushed gently, saying we could stay with Alice (for how long?) or switch to Free for the same price.

So, for the same 29.99€/month, they have just sent us a new "box" (ADSL modem/router/wifi) with twice the speed of the old one.
They also sent a pair of PowerLine plugs & a set-top box for TV, with Hard Drive & Remote Control, which does not cost us anything if we don't use it - which we won't & said we wouldn't when we signed up.
The waste seems criminal.
And we get a free mobile phone subscription with 60 texto's & 60 min call-time per month.

I can't see what they get for pushing us to switch.
But they obviously know better than me, as they are worth 5.2 billion (5200000000) Euros on the stock market & I am not.

So I will just grin & bear it.

Parting thot: "My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate." - Thornton Wilder

No comments:

Post a Comment