Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The natural antagonism between VoIP users and companies

So Luca from Abbeynet has responded to my last comment, in which I stated that free phone calls in fact are a great thing, although he as representative of a VoIP company hates them.

Well, maybe I would have prefered from him a message like "dear competitors, please don't offer anymore free phone calls because we all can die from that". Instead of saying "please, don't give me more FREE calls. I don't want them" - which sounded as if an average end user was speaking, that he isn't.

Just a plain call for an oligopoly! A constellation that companies prefer when they cannot build up a monopoly. This would have seemed more honest to me.

I must admit that in his new blog post Luca has some strong arguments which make me think. But still it seems suspicious that most VoIP news sources are company driven and opt for higher prices. They tend to just tell what's good for their companies and not what's good for the customer. At least I would like to see a disclosure under such articles (as we see it often at GigaOM) which explains your company's interests.

People arrive at those websites via search engines and think it's an independent news source. But it's a marketing tool. That's why you see there news like "higher prices are good for you" while in user forums you find much more appealing messages like "how to make free phone calls from Pakistan to the UK".

That's the kind of information I like. :)

I dream about a worldwide SIP peering where everyone can call everyone for free. People would just have to pay their broadband connection and nothing for the calls, like they pay nothing for their emails.

That's technically possible and it basically was like this when the SIP movement started. But now I see every time more SIP blocking. Calls, which where free before, have to take paid routes. That annoys me.

Somebody has to say that too. There is a natural antagonism between companies and customers. Obviously the companies want the highest possible prices and the customers would love to get everything for free.

Every side has to make their points. Also the end users. That's why I responded like I did.

Also the VoIP flatrates, that Luca proposes as a solution, aren't always the best thing. In Germany they normally cost 10 Euros per month for national calls. When I pay 1 Cent per minute, which is a standard price of many providers, I usually spend 4 Euros monthly for my phone calls. So I would have overpaid using a flatrate.

Another example of the difficult relationships between VoIP users and providing companies.

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