6 Mar 2010


Despite the ever increasing dominance of mobile communication,a fixed line service remains as important as one's home address.In the UK,for instance,and probably in some other countries as well,a landline bill is still accepted as a form of ID.And the cost of calling an international land line is far cheaper than a call to a mobile.

It was therefore great news to hear that ZANTEL,one of the major mobile phone companies in Tanzania,was introducing GUMZO, a new and affordable (so they say)  fixed line service in the country.I came across the news when doing my daily "ritual" of going through countless Tanzanian blogs including those which appear on my blogroll.However,my excitement was short-lived after visiting ZANTEL's website.The first thing you would notice when visiting the company's website is its "amateur" looks.One would have expected a big name such as ZANTEL to have something better than what looks like a personal blog.Arguably,My KULIKONI UGHAIBUNI,especially after the "pimping", looks way cuter than ZANTEL's site.

If the impression of their website isn't something to bother you about,then you certainly would end up being as frustrated as I was when you try to search for more information.It really doesn't make sense for ZANTEL to create such a buzz about their GUMZO service only for them to "forget" to mention anything about it on their website.I suspect that the site has not been updated for sometime.All I wanted was to get more information on how I could subscribe to their fixed line service on behalf of someone in TZ but I left the site with none,zilch,nada!

Perhaps the company is so confident in its local advertisement campaigns that it completely ignores potential foreign-based customers.Or could it be the case of not having competent IT personnels?Or not having an IT department at all?Or just business as usual as bongo ilivyo tambarare?

I completely useless when it comes to such stuffs as marketing or sales.However,one does not need to hold even a short-course certificate is such areas to understand how ZANTEL could attract a pretty good number of foreign based customers who could subscribe to their GUMZO service to slash  the costs of making international calls to mobile numbers in Tanzania.

I am not expecting any apology from ZANTEL, not only because such a culture "is still foreign" among majority of service providers in Tanzania,both public and private,but also because the best they could do is making sure that their website lives up to their reputation.

Generally, for majority of service providers in our beloved country,both public and private, do not seem to care about the likes of Evarist who largely relies on the internet when lit comes to looking for local information about services in Tanzania.Ironically,even our media has a very disappointing presence on the internet.For instance,one of the oldest newspaper in the country,Uhuru,has long disappeared into thin air after months of having a website that had been updated at the mercy of their webmaster.Online versions of most of our newspapers have remained more of a privilege than a necessity.My fellow patriot Said Kubenea must have got tired of my frequent emails to his weekly paper reminding them to update their site on time.

I am sorry but I have to say it.Shame on you ZANTEL and all those who follow your suit when it comes to updating their websites.Your website really sucks.

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