Saturday, February 23, 2008

BPN 1017 UPC NL starts printed mag to sell digital TV

This afternoon there was a mail shot from UPC under the slogan: Here you are, the magazine which is all about the pleasure of watching TV! It was a letter and a glossy, one big ad for digital television, larded with superficial interviews with Dutch TV VIPs. It is one big attempt to sell digital TV. It is clear that UPC has a problem in promoting digital television. Of course UPC subscribers do not understand what digital TV offers them; now and in the future. The letter continues: and why UPC is still the best choice for years; not only for digital television, but also for telephony and internet.

UPC started a big campaign to introduce digital television in 2005. It planned to connect 1.000 subscribers a week. The goal was to have 2 million subscribers at a cost of 300 million euro conversion from analogue to digital. (Update 28/02/2008: At the end of 2007 UPC had 550.300 digital TV connections; the subscriber population grew in 2007 with 10 per cent; UPC expects in 2008 a stabilisation). But UPC is not the only operator to offer digital TV in the Netherlands. UPC has a regional cable monopoly as has @Home, Casema and Orange. It has competition from digital TV through ADSL from KPN and its affiliates Het Net, Telfort, Planet and XS4ALL as well as from the Swedish operator Tele2 and the Telecom Italia brand Alice. It is clear that the campaign for 2 million connections of digital TV is not on schedule.

The letter continues after the introduction that UPC has invested to improve the cable network, which supposedly consists of 97 per cent of glass fibre. If this is true, then I still do not understand why the internet speeds are still so low and so expensive. When Alice offers a 20 Mbps speed on a copper wire at 30 euro and UPC offers a 20Mbps on a fibre glass connection after a cheap introduction rate of 30 euro at no less than 59, 95 euro. Ridiculous!

The glossy is there to convince me, the viewer, of an improvement of television viewing by watching digital television. (Funny thing is that the sender does not know whom he is talking to, addressing the printed glossy to Mr/Mrs). talking about personalising at conferences and not knowing the sex of the addressee. And apparently the printed magazine is not enough. For if you want to change to UPC Digital television you get the digital television service 3 months for free; after three months you pay 3,99 euro extra for the basic package. Of course UPC hopes that you will go for the special sports and movie channels. Mr Paul van Doorne, the Director Marketing of UPC (Regional, The Netherlands, Benelux or Inc.), wishes the viewers a lot of reading pleasure!

It is unbelievable how a company executes its marketing for a certain product, while it keeps up its basic service in such a sloppy way. Since three months the cable head-end box of our apartment building in Almere suffered a severe blow from a mowing machine. All the live wires are there to be seen and cut for anyone. In a telephone call to a UPC help desk employee promised to have the situation remedied as soon as possible. To this date the box is still lying open, baring the cables of 50 apartments. And this company is trying to convince me of digital TV with a printed glossy! Reliability and execution of a promise are the basic features of sound marketing, Mr Van Doorne. Forget the printed glossy!

Blog Posting Number: 1017


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