Of Friends and Mobile Service Providers

Last year at about this time, three of my good friends from FONBerga, Karl, and Victor (el Melenas) — left FON to work for Simyo, a new MVNO in the Spanish market.

Besides helping my buddies out, I thought that by changing to Simyo I could save a little money in the process as well. The only pending issue was to ask Movistar, the market incumbent and my current provider, for the switch. Sounds painless? It was like breaking up with a girlfriend who was trying to blame it on my friends Berga, Karl, and Victor.

As a caveat, let me say that Movistar was good to me. Before Movistar, I had Amena (a company that was later acquired by Orange). With Amena I had a rechargable pre-paid phone while I was processing my work and residency permit. Once I got my residency, I asked Amena for a fixed contract, but was denied. When I inquired why, I was told that I did not meet the right profile for an Amena client. Hmm? That’s right, Amena was not giving fixed contracts to foreigners. Nevertheless, Movistar had no problem giving my foreign arse a contract, and to this day I am still thankful to them for that.

So back to my story. I call Movistar, and the customer service rep tells me that everything is set for me to keep my same telephone number and switch to Simyo. There is change one last issue. She would like to know why I wish to leave Movistar.

I could feel it happening. I have had easier break-ups before. So I tell her, “It is nothing personal. It’s not that I don’t like or appreciate Movistar, it’s just that three of my friends work for Simyo and I would like to show them my moral support. That’s all.”

But she wouldn’t accept the “it’s not you, it’s me” argument. She had to fight back with, “Did your friends tell you that Simyo has problems with . . . ” and she listed the standard incumbent argument.

I even defended my friends and made excuses for them. “Mam, they are my friends and I am sure they have my best interests at heart.”
But she retaliated, “Are your friends going to be there to help you when your phone suddenly loses coverage?”

“Mam,” I explained, “If I have any problems I will bring it up with my friends. It’s just a phone. I am not that worried. Thanks for being concerned about me, and if I have to argue with my friends about service one day, I will. It’s no big deal.”

Once she realized that her “your friends won’t love you the way I do” arguments had failed, she went for my wallet. Movistar was going to give me, just me, a special, personalized offer that would reduce my monthly charges by almost 65%.

“How can you say no to saving up to XX€ a month on what you are currently paying,” I was told.

My response was pretty clear, “Mam, you’re telling me not to trust my friends and not to help them out in their new business venture? Then you are telling me that I should trust Movistar, but now I learn that Movistar has been overcharging me by at least 65% over the past years. I am outraged.”

To make a long story short, I have now changed to Simyo in support of Berga, Karl and Victor. I am also especially concerned about Karl because he is shy and has trouble making friends. So to give him some extra help, I have inlcuded one of the Simyo commercials where Karl appears. I hope the commercials help Karl finally break out his timid shell, meet some new people, and socialize a bit.



Filed under FON, Friends / Family, Living la vida española

2 responses to “Of Friends and Mobile Service Providers

  1. Víctor (el melenas)

    Very funny gringo.

    Thanks for joining us and for your “refuse resist” strategy with Movistar!


  2. eric

    Fight the power!

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