By Derek Francis
Etisalat launches customer reward programme to retain customers, while du relaunches one dirham offer to attract new subscribers
The UAE's two mobile operators have traded punches, by announcing rival offers in the same week. Etisalat launched its new reward programme at the start of this week, while rival operator du re-introduced its popular initial subscription offer at the same time.
Etisalat unveiled its reward programme, dubbed ‘More', on Sunday, allowing users to earn points based on their mobile phone spending. Points can be redeemed with Cellucom, i2, Paris Gallery, Blue Banana, Prime Limousine and Rotana Hotels Suites & Resorts. In addition, members can convert their points into Skyward miles, Emirate Airline's frequent flyer programme.
The scheme, which is free from registration or subscription fees, is available for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. Points are valid for a period of two years.
"‘More' is the first rewards programme in the UAE from a telecommunications operator, extending Etisalat's leadership in providing added value to its customers," said Essa Al Haddad, chief marketing officer, Etisalat.
The scheme offers three tiers of membership: More, More Silver and More Gold. As a customer moves up to a higher tier, the number of points earned per dirham spent increases up to three times, according to Haddad.
But while Etisalat appears to be consolidating its customer base, an offer from rival operator du is focused more on winning new customers.
As part of its first anniversary celebrations, consumer and enterprise subscribers who choose du's monthly plan will pay Dh125 ($34.05) and receive a credit-back of Dh124 ($33.8). Pay-as-you-go customers will pay Dh55 ($14.98), with a credit-back of Dh54 ($14.70), with Dh27 ($7.35) coming from the first call, and the remaining after a month.
Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said: "For our Anniversary Offer we are pleased to re-introduce what has been a hugely popular offer for new customers, as our way of saying welcome to the du family."
It's been over a month since I applied for an internet connection with Etisalat and am still waiting. I'd have happily defected to Du but they don't cover Sharjah yet. I call in everyday to enquire about my connection. I'd filed a complaint and had it escalated but nobody bothered to call me back from Etisalat yet. Apparently, they ran out of ports in the area and are in the process of installing it (since last month)... never bothered to have them installed beforehand, did they? I guess this is an advantage a monopolistic corporation can utilize, how important is one customer when you got a couple of million others lined up, who, in fact, have no one else to go to. Kinda reminds of old-school dictatorship for some reason!
Hello Hyder, There is a new service from Etisalat, which is DSL over cable instead of standard 2-pair copper line. All you need to do is call up Etisalat and ask them to change the service order from standard Al Shamil to Al Shamil over cable (HFC-Hybried Fiber Coax). This can be offered in almost all areas and can be implemented within a week's time from ordering (if not sooner).