If you’re easily wowed by advertising on billboard or television that depicts a man blown away by the speed of his Internet connection, just wait until you test the service.
For so long, brands have joined forces with advertising agencies to create a good product/service out of a lousy one at the very expense of consumers who hardly complain nor rely on the grossly inefficient Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria.
In Kenya, consumers have had to create their own consumer protection council as in sites such as Gotissuez. In Nigeria, we mostly rant about failed services on Twitter or Facebook and hardly get the attention of brands.
For Internet-related services, operators have used all methods to lure consumers, spending millions, if not billions in advertising instead of on improving their service delivery. For instance, most new generation ISPs and so-called broadband providers such as ipNx, Swift Networks and Mobitel advertise speeds from 1MBps to 4MBps, but deliver less than that.
Here’s a screenshot of Swift Network’s and Mobitel’s actual speeds for an advertised speed of up to 4MBps:
From the speed test screenshots above, you’d notice that download and upload speeds are very poor and the connection grade of the above ISPs are D+ and D respectively (that is between 20% – 39%) showing that 63% and 73% of connections in Nigeria are faster than these ISPs.
Granted, these ISPs operate in difficult conditions with challenges such as power and infrastructure to contend with. Again, the issue is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. In the UK, the average advertised speed in May 2011 was 15Mbit/s, which was 8.2Mbit/s higher than average actual speeds of 6.8Mbit/s, according to Ofcom.
Yet, that’s not an excuse to mislead consumers into thinking that their Internet services are faster than a space shuttle.
Note to ISPs: Why not spend millions improving on your service delivery and retaining loyal consumers, instead of advertising a lousy Internet service?
Note to Users: Why not test an Internet speed of an ISP before deciding to purchase their Internet service, instead of being blown away by a commercial advert?
Note to Self: Why not publicly diss ISPs that suck on a regular basis, instead of being diplomatic
Thanks to @amorebise for the Swift Networks speed test screenshot
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