Ungrateful and Unreasonable : Jamaica’s Response To Digicel
I’ve noted with increased annoyance the wave of insults being hurled at telecoms provider Digicel by various sections of the Jamaican society, particularly on social media. The unprecedented attack on the company highlights what I’ve always believed; we are an ungrateful and grossly unreasonable nation.
LIME decided to play hero and lower their call rates to an unprecedented low which cannot be sustained in its current form, $2.99. In response to the outcry from Jamaica, Digicel went a step further and introduced a ‘sweet rate’ of $2.89, with some adjustments to the host of promotional benefits which customers enjoyed for years. Adjustments include sending five texts and receiving the next ten free, topping up with $200 and receiving an hour free during the night, talk for five minutes on an international call and receive the next twenty five free and talk for five minutes on a local call and revieve the next ten free. This has been dubbed “Gimmie 5 Lite”, customers will have the prerogative to maintain the original $8.99 with full “Gimmie 5″ benefits. Your choice, your way. This seems entirely reasonable to me. What then is the problem?
Short and simple, we are a nation of free loaders. To put it even more simply, wi love freeniss! Somewhere along the line, we forgot that Digicel was, and remains a business. I say this to remind those on Twitter attacking the company that at the end of the day, they will have to make a profit. They have employees to pay, bills to pay, a company to run. If everything is given to us at dirt cheap prices, coupled with the host of promotional benefits, what happens to the company? What happens to the very Jamaicans hired by the company? I can think of no mobile provider, save for LIME who is playing russian roulette, that has opted for dirt cheap rates. It is absolutely unreasonable to expect unregulated freeniss. Digicel has done the very best it could to strike a balance between the interests of customers, who it obviously values, and its own interests as a business. We should appreciate this because it is completely reasonable. LIME has simply used Jamaica’s dependence on freeniss and cheapness to seduce us, and we swallowed it : hook, bait, line and sinker. Then again, is it really ‘freeniss’? What benefits do we have with $2.99? LIME can continue to talk about gaining market share, but guess what? We all are keeping our Digicel sims. I don’t know of one person who “switched” to LIME and de-commissioned the Digicel sim. A colleague of mine observed that this may be LIME’s exit strategy from the Jamaican telecoms market, suck us all dry when we flock their network and then leave us hanging, packing up and leaving with the billions in profits they would have made from our mass ‘exodus’. Plausible? You tell me.
We are such an ungrateful nation that many of us have forgotten that were it not for Digicel, we wouldn’t know we could get cell coverage in certain areas – like my bedroom for example (Yes, my bush well thick. LIME neva use to penetrate it. A mussi weedwacker Digicel use, but mi get full signal now). We wouldn’t have known that we could have easy access to credit and multiple outlets to purchase same. We wouldn’t have known that there was any other phone in the Caribbean, indeed the world, except the Nokia fridge. We wouldn’t have known that we didn’t have to have credit to receive calls. We wouldn’t have known that we could call customer care and have our query handled in a timely manner. We wouldn’t have known that Jamaican talent could come on our local television stations and thrill us on Sunday evenings. I could go on all night. We are ungrateful! What’s more, the average man will always appreciate what Digicel did for telecommunications in Jamaica, because his Coral works in Wait-A-Bit and he enjoys his Gimmie 5; I’m convinced that this wave of insults is led by a few who have smartphones, addicts who have little more to do than be slaves to the smartphone, the moment a ping can’t go through, we go crazy, myself included. Digicel is upgrading their network, we all know this – how about some patience? How about some appreciation? I agree that you paid for a service and it should be functional, but a 15 minute interruption is not a huge price to pay, since in the long run we stand to benefit from advanced mobile technology. The ends will justify the means.
Let us stop being unreasonable and ungrateful, Digicel is trying, that much is clear. Let us show some appreciation for the company that effectively taught Jamaica how to use a cellphone. I’m proud member of the DigiFam – NOT CHANGING NO COURSE!