Why Ghana Telecom sucks: Part 1Posted: December 12, 2006
This will probably be the first of many rants about our local phone monopoly, Ghana Telecom.
Background: Ghana Telecom is Ghana’s state owned telecom company. At the moment they pretty much have the monopoly on all wired phone services in the country. They also have a monopoly on the SAT-3 underwater fibre cable that is meant to provide cheap internet access to a bunch of African countries. This is decent background on the cable and all of its shortcomings.
Now, I could rant for months about all of Ghana Telecom’s issues. Its a really huge target that way. Mostly because its so horribly inefficient that two cans and a string are probably a more reliable than their service.
Today’s post, however, shall focus on the terms of service for their horribly overpriced broadband service(link here)
When you open up their application form, at the very top it states
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Are you an existing subscriber of another broadband service provider or ISP? If yes please note that you will have 30 days within which to terminate your contract/service with the provider. This termination will have to take place prior to connection to the Broadband4U service. Also the Proxy Termination Agreement must be duly filled.
In other words, in order to use GT broadband, I must give up my right as a consumer to purchase bandwidth from any other ISP. They are in effect telling their consumers, who are overpaying them for service btw, how they can spend their money.
I’m curious about the identity of the person who came up with this clause. I’m also curious about its legality and the competence of the lawyer they had advise them on its inclusion. I mean, if this is legal then what stops my local pineapple vendor from banning me from occasionally buying fruit from her cheaper competitor? Or Sony from telling me I have to get rid of all Samsung TV’s before I can buy one of theirs.
They are a vendor. I am a potential customer. I can choose do buy a service from them. I can also choose to get service from any of the dial-up, wireless internet and cellphone services out there that sell bandwidth. The lack of respect for the consumer inherent in that clause goes a long way to explain how they managed to bungle the advantage their monopoly affords them and why telecom in this country is far more expensive and unreliable than it needs to be.
I’ll come back to them again later. And probably often.