Miller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between
Toronto – August 26, 2013
Many of the headlines we read these days lead us to believe that the sky will fall in the wireless and cell phone markets if US giant Verizon is allowed to bring its services to Canada. We have all heard this story before. We heard it when Walmart announced it was moving to Canada and we heard it again more recently when Target decided to bring its low prices north of the border. As far as I can tell, the sky hasn’t fallen yet. But these moves have forced Canadian companies like HBC, Loblaw’s, Sobeys and others to become more competitive. Is that such a bad thing?
I realize that the big three Canadian wireless companies want to protect their turf, but they also need to focus on what they can control, which is how they treat customers. I’m not sure Rogers, Bell, and Telus are going to get a lot of sympathy from Canadian customers. After years of poor service, high fees, long-term contracts with high penalties, and creating a lot of difficulty when customers want to switch providers, now Canadians are being asked to support these companies against the big, bad, US giant.
This seems like a desperate approach to use Canadian customers for the benefit of the big three providers. What will happen if Verizon is blocked from entering Canada, or Rogers, Bell and Telus are given the same ability to purchase wireless spectrum assets? Do the customers go back to just being faceless names?
It is the perception of many Canadians that regardless of which of these three companies you go with, the level of service and support will be bad. This should be a bigger concern to Rogers, Bell, and Telus, than Verizon entering the marketplace.
Verizon is a premium provider in the US, so they focus on service, not price. It’s entrance will probably not create a price war in Canada, but might create a service war, which might be worse news for Rogers, Bell and Telus until they are able to dramatically improve the customer experience.
“The big three Canadian companies need to make internal changes to compete,” says Andrew Miller. “By appealing to Canadians to help save them from unfair competition appears self-serving. If they want customers to stand up for them, then provide those customers with an experience and a level of service that is worth fighting for.”
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