Skip to main content

Rip Off

I'm always surprised at how quickly my phone runs out of credit. I shouldn't be; I know how much AMC charge. But somehow I still can't get used to the extortionate costs of using a mobile phone here.

So it comes as no surprise that AMC increased their profits by more than 20% last year to nearly EUR 50 million.

It was also no surprise that the company has been fined for its anti-competitive practices, and that the Telecommunications Authority in Albania has declared that both AMC and Vodafone are 'non-competing companies'.

Let's hope that the government has the courage to do something about these companies who are ripping off me, Albanian citizens and the whole country.

Comments

albaniac said…
You should dump the number that works on recharge-cards and take one with a contract from the company. Then, and only then, you will realize what real theft looks like. However bad it might be, on a recharge-card you can always control your costs. If you decided you spent too much, you just stop recharging, but with a contract-number it's like a hole in your pocket. I calculated that if I stopped using my cellphone and payed the same sum on a bank loan every month, I would be able to buy an apartment in 5-7 years. Nice, huh?
Anonymous said…
I dont like the way AMC or Vodafone behave in the market but their profits increased mostly due to the governments actions of lowering commercial taxes. Hopefully a third mobile operator will enter the market but it's been taking them a while to receive their license. It's the mobile division of albtelecom, eaglemobile.
Ll.T. said…
Alwyn, the cellphone market issue in Albania is a political one (like many others....); both carriers are owned by greek interests and the government can (or is willing to do) very little against them. I don't anticipate any changes soon; "Eagle Mobile", a third carrier to be owned by Albtelekom has been in the works for a long time but the state hasn't yet chosen to throw it in the market.
MPH said…
The government is the problem, not the answer. They create the regulations that block competition. Then the politicians who control the regulation essentially need to be bribed for any new action to happen in the marketplace. Its a mess...

What about Skype?
ourmanintirana said…
Hi MPH. I use skype for all my international calls out of here. Partly because it is so expensive otherwise, partly because the land lines are unreliable.

Regarding government, I partly agree with you. Bad government is the problem. Good government would be the solution.

The key issue is when government's regulate, whose interests are served? Their own, the interests of their paymasters in the business community, or the interests of consumers?

Corrupt governments tend to regulate in their own interests, unfortunately western governments regulate far too much in the interests of business - because businesses give them money, which is just another form of corruption.

Popular posts from this blog

50 Ways to Make Some Money

The death of communism in Albania brought a flourishing market economy to life just as it did across Central Europe and Russia. On the streets of Tirana people are buying and selling, trading goods and services in predictable, or sometimes novel, ways. The shops are the most obvious expression of this. The streets are lined with little stores selling almost everything you could want. Freed from the choking grip of state bureaucracy Albanians are now at liberty to buy whatever they can afford. No matter how absurd the demand, someone will create the supply. Hence the preponderance of shoe stores in this city of muddy streets and torn up footpaths. Especially outlandish is the fashion for high heeled white boots - about as impractical a style of footware as could be imagined. Dotted across the city are the market stalls, sometimes just one person selling bananas, elsewhere a whole street lined with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and spices. Those who cannot bring thei…

Welcome

Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…