What astounds me is that the company seems to only have one explanation for this situation - illegal music downloads are apparently damaging the music business so badly they were unable to continue trading.
Somebody tell JB HiFi who are currently in the middle of a huge store rollout program in both New Zealand and Australia that the music industry is suffering and they'll laugh at you. There is plenty of money to be made selling music. If Sounds are so happy to blame illegal music downloads then why aren't they also blaming legal music downloads? The fact that it's illegal in NZ to rip a CD to an iPod leaves people with no choice but to buy music online if they want to legally listen to music on a portable device so logically they don't want to pay for music twice - once for their iPod and again for a CD. And what about their pricing? Who wants to pay $33.99 for a new release CD from a Sounds store when JB HiFi and The Warehouse can sell me the same product for somewehre around the $22 - $25 range? With the $US at it's current level it's also cheaper to buy CD's from the USA and ship them to NZ than to buy product from Sounds.
I'm sorry that your business failed guys but don't go blaming illegal music downloads. They are the least of your problems. Despite illegal downloads existing music company executivies are still waking up each morning and going to work and running extremtly profitable businesses and there are plenty of very music retailers such as JB HiFi who are doing extremely well even with legal music downloads now taking a huge chunk of the music market.
A quick survey on my way home shows that no other chains have yet followed.
BP have lead the way in the NZ fuel market and have been first to increase their price every time over the past 12 months. My quick market research shows the only times BP have been first to drop has been on the 6 occasions where their price increase has not been matched by competitors forcing BP to reduce their price.
BP have been selling diesel at 122.9 for over 2 weeks now whereas Shell, Mobil, Challenge and Caltex have all kept their price at 118.9 and not followed BP's increase. BP also raised their petrol prices by 5c per litre over the busy Labour Weekend period, again an increase that all other chains did not follow on.
If you're a BP customer I think you really need to ask yourself why you're supporting a company that takes pride in always being the first to raise prices and typically the last to drop them... Vote with your feet (and wallet) and go elsewhere. Don't give them your money. Boycott BP.
I'd been happy with iTalk up until their recent platform change which has caused their voice quality to turn to custard and they have also experienced several outages over recent weeks which was the final nail in the coffin. Porting was a painless exercise and so far the customer service from WorldxChange has been superb!
Keep up the good work guys!
Great marketing? Maybe. If I could read what it said. The text was so small I couldn't read anything that it said and I've also checked with a few other people who drove in this morning and nobody else knows either because of the size of the text!
Way to go KiwiBank. Waste your money with a billboard nobody can read while holding up the traffic. I certainly won't be moving my accounts any time soon.
"Power outage blamed for 111 malfunction"
You could be mistaken for thinking that there was a failure of the 111 system couldn't you? But no there wasn't, all that happened was that one of the three communications centres for the Police and New Zealand Fire Service suffered a power fault last night which resulted in all calls being diverted to Wellington and all communications with Police and Fire being handled in Wellington. This is something that is planned for and regularly occurs during training for such an event.
There was no malfunction of the 111 service. There was a malfunction in the communication centre that handles Police and Fire communications.
Over the past week there has been quite an active discussion on Geekzone in regards to Vodafone's new roaming pricing which has resulted in quite a large number of posts. Over at Rod Drury's blog there has been a similair discussion and in both cases many people have disagreed with factors of Vodafone's new policy. I am one of those people and have made my feelings present that I personally disagree with the new charges because of the big increases in roaming costs to Vodafone NZ's biggest roaming destination, Australia. We all know that roaming is a huge money spinners for mobile operators and that's precisely why the EU have mandated price drops among EU mobile operators for roaming calls. It's just a shame that Vodafone's price increase goes against many of the policies of ANZCERTA (NZ's free trade agreement with Australia).
Vodafone could have been leaders in the global roaming market instead of followers. Hutchinson have set the benchmark for everybody else by abandoning the concept of roaming surcharges and if you're a 3 customer roaming on another 3 network anywhere else in the world you have the benefits of paying no surcharges for incoming call forwarding, you can use included minutes and txt messages that are in your monthly bundles with no surcharges and also pay cheap prices for data while roaming (in the case of Vodafone Australia customers you pay A50c per MB while roaming). Why weren't Vodafone first to the market with such an innovative offering? Vodafone market themselves as being the world's largest Mobile Community but several years on from their OneVodafone pitch they are still no closer to being "One Vodafone".
What did impress me however was the response of Paul Brislen, Vodafone's PR man, who was actively posting on both Geekzone and Rod's blog. There are plenty of big NZ companies who are still scared of the internet and who don't seem to believe that being involved in online forums or blogging has a part to play in modern business when I believe that exactly the opposite applies. While it can be hard to defend a company you work for when people are attacking you Paul did a great job of this and while I'm still annoyed by their plans I at least feel better knowing that my comments were seen by somebody who could pass those comments on to the appropiate people and potentially make a difference. I believe that companies being involved in online discussions is fantastic and would love to see more of this in future as I believe that there is absolutely no harm in free and frank discussion in regards to a companies products and services. Do companies really know who their customers are and whether they're happy or simply believe that's the case? The same can be said for corporate blogging. The concept of customer newsletters has been around for decades and yet many companies seem scared of moving into the 21st century and involving the internet and customer discussion as part of their business. Why? One can only wonder...
Good on you Paul (and Alison), hopefully this is a sign of a things to come.
Check out this detailed test http://techlogg.com/content/view/360/31/
There’s no argument that on CRT monitors, Blackle does reduce the power consumption but it’s not by the 15-watts claimed. We tested the four CRT monitors we could get our hands on and found that only one unit, an older 22-inch Compaq, showed the 15-watts or more power differential.
But with the LCD monitor market penetration worldwide now beyond 75%, it’s the LCD monitor power consumption that’s just as, if not more, important.
The most interesting aspect we found was that of the LCD monitors we tested of size 22-inches or less, all showed an increase in power consumption using Blackle. Beyond the 22-inch mark however, five of the six models showed a fractional decrease in power consumption when using Blackle, except the ViewSonic VX2835wm, which showed a 2.2-watt increase.
For the five that dropped their power consumption, the average drop was 3.16-watts, again, not the 15-watts being suggested.
Just because you heard it on breakfast TV doesn't mean it's true!
The test now will be to see how long it takes to fix these two issues, afterall one has now existed for 6 months and the other close to a year.
If a customer on You Choose rings 777 for an account balance and has TXT2000 you are told you have "x texts to 021/029 mobiles". Since the 1st of April this year when number portability was introduced into NZ 021 or 029 numbers are no longer guaranteed to be on network calls. Vodafone themselves are stuck in the dark ages and even spokeswoman Alison Skyora had this to say last week when a woman was charged $50 for a call to another 021 phone number that she belived was an on network call but infact was now an off network call to Telecom.
Vodafone head of communications Alison Sykora said her company had publicised the changes involved in portability, but it was ultimately the responsibility of phone owners to tell friends of their switch.
Hello? Anybody home at VF????? Did you publicise the change to your own staff, particularly the person responsible for managing the contact centre so the IVR could be updated? Or does the janitor update the IVR and somebody forgot to stick a message on the cleaners cupboard telling him to update the recording?Your IVR is still telling me I can send free TXT messages to an 021/029 mobile but in reality I'll be charged 20c for that TXT if it's to a ported 021 or 029 mobile. I begin to wonder if anybody at VF even realised portability has actually come into play, afterall they're not even interested in new customers porting to their network unless they want to go on a contract. Want to go on prepay? Nah we're not interested in your business.
Along with the inaccuracies with the TXT2000 balance if you're a customer who has the YourTime 200 addon (200 mins to another VF on network mobile) you're told that you have "x included included nights and weekends national minutes" (yes included is said twice). Most people would assume this means you have x included minutes to call a number anywhere in NZ. In reality it means you have "x minutes to another VF on network mobile" but you're just supposed to know that and actually ignore the voice message.
Way to go VF, still as disfunctional as ever. If this is fixed by Wednesday night I'll be full of praise for you. The fact it's been broken for so long however I doubt it'll be the case.
If anybody's up for a bit of a fight this weekend and wants a new phone then stop by your local HN. If you complain to the commerce commission I'm sure you'll get your phone for $699! :-)
How ironic then that this ad features an image of the Kapiti Coast with parts of Paraparaumu Beach and Waikanae - places that Vodafone coverage is abysmal. Vodafone's Waikanae Cellsite on Forest Heights has been a dog since BellSouth first installed it and the Ngarara Site has improved coverage into Waikanae Beach but our holiday house and surrounding area still has terrible coverage both indoor and outdoor.
It also shows a section of SH1 between Paraparaumu and Waikanae where calls are virtually guaranteed to drop, again due to the poor performance of the Forest Heights site.