Where is the competition?
In economics, competition is the rivalry among sellers trying to achieve such goals as increasing profits, market share, and sales volume by varying the elements of the marketing mix, while Merriam-Webster defines competition in business as “the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favourable terms.
Of late it seems there is no sound competition in the mobile telecommunications sector in this country as only one company is dominating the scene and in turn, consumers have become the casualties of the trend.
In the little or non-competitive environment consumers have become nothing less than casualties as they are being given less than favourable terms and have to settle for less, as there is no other choice available to ensure better service.
In the last two months, complaints have risen over the disappearance of airtime and high tariffs on data usage. The local mobile service provider which dominates the scene simply apologised to its ‘valued’ customers and attributed the disappearance of their hard-earned credit as a result of smartphones’ software updating. Personally I have been owning this smartphone since 2012 and nothing of this sort occurred in the past two years. It is shocking how all of a sudden they are updating more than they used to and it doesn’t make sense to me.
Yes, kudos for them for trying to control the damage by coming up with a month long data promotion to calm the consumers, which again to me seemed like a trail cover up. To me it is just like what our parents did to us when we cried as toddlers and we were often buttered with candy to get us to stop crying.
In a normal competitive environment consumers would have simply opted to use the services of the competitor, but again there is little resistance in that department of our telecommunications sector and one wonders where is the competition?
Not even a week after the data promotion, consumers again went back to the battle field as again, the service provider came full force and retracted on the road to recovery to redeem the money its customers had lost over their so called promotion.
In their response to the consumers the mobile service provider attributed the problem to their wrong configuration settings on the balance enquiry function during their migration process and not as a result of incorrect charging.
But again should the consumers suffer because of their not so efficient ways of tweaking their billing systems?
Despite their excuse, I basically think they lack competition to challenge them. Right now there is room to develop new products to give the consumers a wider selection of products, but because there is no or little competition to give them a run for their money, I get the impression they will always be reluctant to change.
I think its about time that stiffer competition enters this sector so as to give the consumers more choices on which packages or services to accept, and under what conditions. The greater the selection the lower the prices of the products for consumers, or at least, that is the way it should be.
Competitors better shape up or ship out or make way for competition hungry firms, because at the moment the lack of competition in the mobile sector has resulted in a total domination of the market by one firm which simply does what it wants at the expense of the consumers in what has developed into a one-legged race.