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.


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


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.


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …

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…