Well I was pleased and also amused to see this story on the Gulf News website this morning. You see, having lived in Oman for well over 9 years, and suffered at both the hands of Nawras (now Ooredoo) and Omantel, this is a topic very dear to my heart. Calling outside of Oman is horrendously expensive, and actually, calling within Oman (I'm currently on Omantel post paid) is also a bit pricey as it costs me 34bz/minute (once I've gone over my monthly minutes) (which is about $0.09/minute).
Another real pain in the ass is that Omantel seem hell bent on wasting paper and overheads by refusing to bundle up my services. For example, I have a Post Paid for me, and one for my wife, a land line and also DSL to the house. I'd really like just one bill each month, but no, I have to make 3 separate payments - 1 for the landline / DSL, and 1 for each of the post paid accounts. That's three paper bills posted each month, 3 times the account is reviewed by their accounts team, 3 credit card fees paid on the bills, and 3 times longer that I have to spend to pay my bills with Omantel each month. Coincidentally, I also have a Omantel Prepaid account (for work) and that is so much more stress free it's tempting to just switch everything to prepaid and be done with their nonsene.
Anyway, I digress!
It seems that the chaps and chapesses of Oman have got a bee in their bonnet about the high charges that Omantel and Oordeoo charge for their telecom services, according to the story on Gulf News today, the hashtag, "Boycott of Omantel and Ooredoo" was the top trending hashtag in Oman last Thursday. I just searched for that term and didn't find anything, so I assume it's an Arabic hashtag that has been translated by the paper (which makes sense).
And today, the 10th of October is ACTION DAY! Yes boys and girls, to show your distaste in Omantel and Oordeoo, the organisers of this boycott urge you to turn your phones off (or into flight mode, because, wifi) between 4 and 6pm every day. Apparently the time would be better spent "sitting with your families" because, you know, we're all totally not at work at 4pm in the afternoon right?
And that was the bit that amused me - staging a boycott on telecoms services in the working day is probably not going to work because... businesses are not going to turn their phones off.
But having said all of that - I hope their boycott works, because my mobile bills top RO 70 every month at the moment and it's horrendous how much money I'm spending on them.
So... 4pm... flight mode... unless you're at work.