Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends

Amigo: people no longer understand what they pay for

(+2 rating, 2 votes)

Arturs Freimanis

Arturs Freimanis

Compex tarrifs have contributed to people getting lost in the huge offer, so they no longer understand what they pay for, says  Artūrs Freimanis, ZetCOM Board Chairman. The company is mostly known for its pre-payment card Amigo. He told the business news portal BNN many people overpay for services that make part of the set they do no even use.

What is your assessment on the telecommunications sector in general, namely, how would you characterise the Latvian market to a potential client?

Speaking about the key trends, prices are gradually levelling out and operators no longer advertise the one and the only most economical offer.

Basically, prices have levelled out because operators come up with a number of complicated services users even do not now how to use. So, they no longer know what they pay for. To give an example, operators offer sets of services the user does not make full use of. Paying a fixed price for a thousand minutes if you actually talk only a hundred means you overpay significantly. This explains why mobile operators still make profit despite the crisis impact.

I also have to single out that more and more new services enter the market, for example, computing. It is a new source of income. Also, sometimes price increases are hidden under complex tariffs and, at first, it might seem these are bonuses, namely, never mind we have raised the prices, here is a little bonus for you.

Users usually take this as a move of taking care of them, but actually what they see at the end of the month is a bigger bill, which leads to them switching operators more often. This is what we saw every day on or Tvs – all the operators advertised zero tariffs.

Are there similar trends also in Estonia and Lithuania?

From the perspective of consumption, the situation is more or less similar. The share of pre and post payments is basically the same, so is the number of messages and talking time.

However, I should point out the closer the territory to Scandinavia, the higher the tariffs, as witnessed by Estonia, but the price gap is not that considerable.

What is the instrument to attract potential clients’ attention? Is it low pricesm the brand or something else?

Given the fact operators speak about prices all the time and they really are lower than in the rest of Europe, price fluctuations no longer play such a major role. Some clients value the brand, cost-effectiveness, while others count the number of friends with the same operator. I believe simplicity and clear services will matter.

Speaking about competition, mobile operators often complain about each other’s commercials. Also Amigo has gone through this, with Bite asking the Consumer Rights Protection Centre to assess your commericals. Are such complaints well grounded? And do comparative commercials asserting you have it cheaper really allow to attract clients?

What is important here is whether the consumer benefits from that. If an operator can really prove other commercials are misleading or a law been breached, consumers benefit from that. However, if someone puts the blame on others, it does not always mean the speaker himself is the good one.

Speaking about the case with Bite inviting people to join their nearly free of charge tariffs, we can see their financial performance is actually the same. They draw almost the same revenue from a single client as the large operators they are speaking about. Our aim was to show that people should not blindly believe all commercials and zeros they are promised.

What are the price trends in Latvia? Will communications still gain in future or they have hit the peak already?

Currently, quite a large share is derived from base services – messages and calls. This proportion will give way to data and content in future. The question is who will show this content and whether some third parties will be involved.

I believe these base services will not gain and there will be more and more sets of them – flat rates with one price for everything. Anyway, revenue will come from different sources.

What is the demand for Amigo services? Did the crisis have a negative impact on your prices and the number of clients?

The number of clients has not changed significantly during the past years, which could be some kind of a manifestation of the crisis. On the other hand, we will get the Census 2011 results soon and see how many have actually emigrated. So, operators are currently focusing on the existing clients.

How many clients does Amigo have and what are the forecasts? What are the key tasks you plan to accomplish this year?

A number of new services and tariffs offered by our competitors has made also us make plans of attracting clients more aggressively.

We plan doubling the number of clients to 200 000 if not this year – in 2012 we will succeed for sure.

Leave a reply

Poland hopes Turkey would join EU

Polish President Andrzej Duda meeting his Turkish counterpart shortly before an European Union-Turkey summit has expressed a hope that the country located at the cross-roads between Europe and the Middle East would join the EU some time.

Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

E-voting defended in Estonia after criticism from party leader

Responding to claims from a leader of an Estonian political party that the country’s e-voting system lacks transparency, the head of e-Government Academy’s e-democracy department explained it was possible that the voters of one party are more active e-voters than supporters of other parties.

Residents’ mood worsens; people become more critical about their finances

Over the course of the past month, residents’ general mood has worsened significantly – declines have been noted on all positions analysed by the survey. Residents were critical the most in the survey about their material state – the index in this category declined from -9 to -11, according to the latest Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Antāne: Saeima’s National Economy Committee has heard the transit industry’s cry

Inga Antāne, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, is satisfied with the decision that was made at the recent meeting of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, asking the Transport Ministry to develop and present a sustainable development strategy for the industry and putting an emphasis on raising the competitiveness of railway tariffs.

Latvian’s attitude towards combating cancer in late stages seems irresponsible

The attitude towards combating cancer in late stages in Latvia remains very low, says former healthcare minister of Latvia Ingrīda Circene.

Hydrogen-powered transport technology – a reality in Latvia

There are plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling station in Riga before the end of 2017. A publicly available H2 refuelling station in Riga would secure an inter-state network of hydrogen refuelling stations: the closest other station will be established in Pernava, says Association Zero Emission Mobility Support chairman Arnis Bergs.

Estonian ministry to collect 270 000 euros from IT company over failure to build information system

Tieto Estonia, the Estonian branch of Finnish IT firm group Tieto will compensate the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs 270,000 euros for the failure of the SKAIS2 project, the aim of which was the development of a new information system for the Estonian social insurance authority, but was deemed a failure in August.

Latvia invites Iran to act constructively to ensure security

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where he discussed about the role of Iran in the region and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in light of the upcoming report from US President Donald Trump to the Congress on Iran’s progress realizing the plan.

Vigil held in Malta over killing of investigative journalist

Several thousand people in Malta have taken part in a vigil held after news broke of the killing of an investigative journalist, who blamed Maltese government for corruption.

American exchange indexes reach record-high values; oil prices on the rise

In response to price rise of bank stocks, three leading indexes of US exchanges reached new record heights on Monday, 16 October. In addition, US Federal Reserve System manager Janet Yellen’s prediction regarding a soon inflation rise has increased confidence that base interest rate will increase in December.

54.14% more alcohol exported from Latvia; most of it to Russia

In the first eight months of 2017, a total of 102.259 million litres of alcoholic drinks was exported from Latvia, which is 54.14% more when compared with the same period of last year.

In pictures: Ireland hit by worst storm in 50 years

Three people have been killed in Ireland in the storm Ophelia, which cut off electricity networks to 120 000 homes and businesses in the country. Gusts of wind in Ireland on Monday, October 16, had reached the speed of 44 metres per second.

Tragic wildfires in Portugal and Spain

No less than 30 people have died in wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Ašeradens to leave Latvian government at the end of November

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens intends to leave the government after approval of the 2018 budget in the Saeima, which is scheduled for the end of November, as confirmed by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.

Islamic extremists blamed for tragic terrorist attack in Somalia

The death-toll in a tragic terror attack in the eastern African state of Somalia has reached 320 people and local authorities have stated that a key member of the cell that allegedly launched the attack on Mogadishu has told them that al-Shabaab was responsible for the crime.

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks gets new management

From now on Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks will have a new chairman: once the head of Latio Namsaimnieks has been appointed as the new head of the company. The other vacant post has been given to Ardis Pāvilsons.

Catalonia misses ultimatum deadline, Spanish government vows to act after Thursday

The separatist Spainish region of Catalonia has missed the deadline to clarify, if it has declared independence and Madrid has received a letter from the President of the autonomous region, which still needs analysis.

What will be the consequences for companies that cheated with electricity production permits

Businesses that were caught using fake permits for electricity production in mandatory procurements will not have their permits extended, says Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvian tourist accommodation facilities experience increase of overnight guests

The number of nights tourists and other guests spent in Latvian hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities in the first eight months of 2018 has grown 12.2% in comparison with the same period of last year, reaching 3.524 million.

Antāne: transit industry has been on thin ice lately

«The transit industry has been on thin ice lately. Russia’s decision to divert all cargoes to its ports will only smash the ice. The government and state policy-makers have two choices – wait for the ice to break completely and watch the industry drown until finally stepping in, or act now to at least reduce the crisis for the country’s national economy, workers and their families,» says President of Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics Inga Antāne.

Kučinskis evasive in evaluation of Unity’s Economy Minister candidates

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis remains evasive when it comes to assessing Unity’s Economy Minister candidates.

Amid alleged harassment scandal, Rõivas leaves post in Riigikogu

The former head of Estonian government Taavi Rõivas, who has been pointed to as allegedly having groped a woman during a visit to Singapore, has denied the claims, but has nevertheless decided to leave the of the second deputy speaker of the Estonian parliament.

De Facto: only one person was convicted of corruption in politics by KNAB in 15 years

In the past fifteen years, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau completed only one political corruption case, as concluded by De Facto programme of LTV.

Centre party victorious in Estonian local government elections

In the Estonian municipal election, held on October 15, the largest overall support has been won by Centre Party that is also the ruling party in Estonian central government.

Most read

Most commented

Newest comments