Disclaimer: This is a product of my wild imagination and there is no iota of truth in this post but I found the topic quite interesting and since it impacts my life, it is imperative that this is brought up.
So when I read about differential tariff for VOIP and net neutrality I called up AiryTell customer service and vented out my anger and they said if you have such a problem why don’t you meet our chief and I said yes. (this was like a lucky draw: may be I was lucky caller number 10000007 and hence I got to meet the Chief).
I thought I would do some homework before I meet the chief so i read about net neutrality and the chief’s views about differential tariff and about the infrastructure they had put up. I also read about the chief being a tough guy with very strong views so I was scared (but what the heck-I was not going for an interview).
So I arrived at their office (swanky building with a lot of color and light) and took the elevator to his office. As I entered I was asked to sit on a very cushy chair (white leather, very soft).
“So, you are here to meet me and discuss about internet charges” said the chief. “Did you take the elevator by any chance”. I said yes. He asked me to deposit Rs 100 in their company drop box which he keeps carrying on his back to collect money. I was zapped and asked why. He raised his eyebrows and replied with a smile “You see we have put up that infrastructure and if you use it, you pay for it”. He was referring to the elevator (same logic that they applied while deciding the differential charges for VOIP). With a heavy heart I put Rs 100 in the money box. He was very happy. He had a small glass cabin inside his cabin (which I earlier thought was a smoking enclosure). After collecting the money he walked into the that cabin and while thumping his chest with both hands he shouted at top of his voice “I am the king of the world, I will amortize all infrastructure in this year itself, I will charge you higher for everything” and then came out relieved.
I was curious but I kept quiet.
I asked him that there is a lot of talk about your differential pricing and net neutrality so what are your views about it. I got one tight slap right across my cheek. He shouted “how dare you use abusive words like net neutrality in my office”.
I asked him “Where did you get the idea of differential pricing”, he replied “from a hotel”. I thought he would have taken some learning from the hotel industry and kept scratching my head to understand the simili but could not (later I realized that his one downs had done a brainstorming session at a hotel and this was an output of that session-hence the comment “From a hotel”).
I asked him “So what would be the impact of this decision on other industries”. He was very pleased again and answered “Banking sector can benefit a lot from it, e.g. if they are giving out personal loans they can have differential pricing-if the money is being used for international holiday, rate of interest should be higher and if it is for a domestic holiday then the rate of interest can be lower”. He seemed very pleased with his comment. He again excused himself and walked into the cabin and while thumping his chest he shouted “I am the king of the world, I will rule the internet, I will charge you for everything, I will amortize everything in this year” and then came out relieved.
I asked him, what next on strategy front for your company. His smart reply left me zapped. You see, we are also into DTH. So if someone is using internet to watch videos we will charge them 16 times. Also we have tied up with the postal department and if someone is using Indian postal service instead email then you would pay 16 times for the post.
I was confused. I once again asked him about his views on Net neutrality. I was slapped again but I ducked this time and landed on the plush carpet. He asked me “Isn’t the carpet soft, can you feel it on your cheeks”.I said yes indeed it feels expensive. Out came the money box with a demand of Rs 500. You see, we have invested in the carpet and we would charge for every use as we have to amortize everything in this year.
I paid and left the office Rs 600 lighter and smarter. While leaving I turned back and saw the chief back in his glass cabin thumping his chest and …
If all businesses apply this logic, they can mint money.
1. Vegetable vendor: if you buy potatoes and make chips then it is Rs 50 per kg, if you make bhaji then it is Rs 25 per kg.
2. Milk vendor: If you buy milk and drink it as it is it will be Rs 50 per litre. If you make kheer it will be Rs 100 per litre.
And many more. Net neutrality be dammed. If you bring it up, I will slap you.
I later found out from an internal source that M had given direct orders to the company top execs that all investments be amortized in this year itself, customer be dammed. Call charges might go up by 16 times. Net Neutrality murdabad is the new company motto.
I have also heard from insider sources that they are planning to ban the internet as well.