Monday, July 15, 2013

Lower roaming charges? Don't thank the Commission!

Will go back to country branding soon, but now I need to talk about something that really pissed me off.

As well reported by the EU media - and by some European broadsheets - roaming charges (and especially the ones for data download) have gone down, again, the 1st of July; this is because the European Commission has reviewed once again the rules about European mobile charges and has achieved further price reductions. Data roaming is now 91% (yes 91%!) cheaper than it was five years ago.

You should be happy, not pissed off, you will say! Yes, I am super happy about the reduction. I always found roaming charges in Europe quite ludicrous. What I am really NOT happy about is the fact that the way most people heard about this news across Europe is through commercials of their mobile company announcing some incredibly generous new tariffs that would allow everyone to roam cheaply in the old continent. AAAAHH! Most companies have been opposing and lobbying against changes in roaming tariffs for years! They have lost their battle and now.....what do they do? They take all the credit!  Mind you, of course they would do that! They are smart!

Here are just a couple of ads - not really edifying - to show you what I mean:

But where is the big across-Europe campaign that says that it was actually the EU that forced them to do so? One of the few understandable and incredibly appreciated new pieces of legislation; a rare piece of good news; one that should have been used as an example of what the EU does for its citizens; certainly one which was worth investing or re-directing some money to communicate, maybe producing an ad that could set the record straight; but no, instead... it's down to mobile companies!! Give me a break! Even excluding the big spender idea of making a TV ad, how about the online presence? There are some news reports, documents, a press release and yes, a couple of videos.

 A weird video of a cartoon strip and a grandmother (453 views):

And the unmissable commissioner (I guess the slight resemblance to the grandmother of the previous video is purely coincidental!) in one of her many talk to camera interviews – in fact the video is one year old, after the first reductions - (1959 views):


 The impact? You be the judge.

 What a missed opportunity. Better go back to country branding!


Unknown said...

Granny looks like the Commissioner because they're same-generation friends!

Unknown said...

here's the proof they're friends:

Mathew Lowry said...

You'd be surprised how hard they actually DO try and take credit for it. What they don't really have is the wherewithal to get the message out, compared to the mobile operators.

For ex, Roaming was the topic of The Very First EC Facebook page, launched in 2007 or 08 and which now has a grand total of 1635 Likes (oo-er): Possibly because they abandoned it in 2010...

(project leader and architect, first roaming website, 2005)

Aditya Gupta said...

Very entertaining subject, I will bookmark your website to check out if you publish more in the future.Thanks Free Roaming