Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

October 7, 2009

A new STC ad makes fun of Mobily’s slowness

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:26 pm

I see a pattern here. STC‘s newest ad makes fun of Mobily‘s Broadband @ home slow Internet speed.

The ad is a parody of a Mobily ad (which I will post once I find it) where a guy wears goggles to face the “speed” of the Internet connection by Mobily.

Quick translation: (preparing to download a file) Guy: “Are you ready?” Announcer: “Are you surprised by the truth?” (on screen: 4 hours to finish download) Announcer: “Your only solution is AFAQ DSL SHAMIL, fastest Internet in Saudi Arabia”.

October 6, 2009

New Mobily ad takes a shot at STC’s slowness

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:12 am

Mobily attacks their biggest competitor, STC with their latest ad starring Saudi actor Youssef Al Jarrah “يوسف الجراح”. Here’s the ad (Arabic video) and and English translation:

Here’s the translation:

left: (talking to his new born child). right: congratulations, what will you name him? left: Nawaf (Neefo as a nickname) Oh yeah you reminded me (dials the phone) I will order Internet access for him. right: Internet for the newborn? left: It will be turn once he enters college. ad guy: with Broadband @ home get the Internet immediately from Mobily. left: God help them, “all our operators are currently busy”.

The ad takes a shot at STC’s slow support system and to be honest I had my shares of waiting for over 30 minutes for an STC operator. Mobily: Where’s my iPhone 3GS?

September 19, 2009

STC and Mobily ad wars (part 2)

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 5:18 am

The ad war between the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily continues. After STC’s response to Mobily. Mobily has aired the following ad on 9/9/2009. The Mobily employee warns against using inferior products shown by “their brothers”, meaning STC. In the end he said “beware of fake products”.

CITC is being quiet about it. But a few days later STC has edited their ad to remove the “fake device” and Mobily has stopped airing their ad mentioned in this post.

I found this interesting comic on Alriyadh newspaper:

ad-wars-stc-mobily-cartoon

The title is “ad wars” and the two women in this ad are dressed in the traditional logo colors of STC and Mobily. Guess the ad war is good for the consumer, no?

This is not the first ad war between the 2 companies. It happened before in 2006 and you can read about it on Arab News.

September 16, 2009

Hilter and STC in a Saudi newspaper

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:19 pm

Alwatan newspaper in Saudi Arabia has mentioned the Hilter and STC video. The article titled “هتلر والاتصالات السعودية ” talked about STC’s bad service, check the comments too (all in Arabic).

The video clip was watched almost 400 thousand times (not counting the download mirrors).

September 12, 2009

STC issues 35,000SR bill by mistake (updated)

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 4:50 pm

STC continues to fail with their billing system, a good friend of mine now got an STC mobile phone bill for over 35,000SR and his account should be limited to a maximum of 400SR credit. So STC’s billing system over charged him and ignored their own credit restrictions!

Update: my friend called STC phone support (902) to raise an objection about the bill. They told him “pay first, then object later”!!!

Arab News talked about this issue with the STC billing system.

The inaccurate bill amounts have caused some phone lines to be disconnected because the system triggers a cutoff once a limit has been exceeded. Adding to the problem, customers who have had their lines disconnected are unable to reconnect them because they cannot access billing information.

This was supposed to be fixed by the end of August. Why isn’t STC working on fixing their services instead of entering an advertisement war with their competitor, Mobily.

What STC is doing what “PC” is doing in this “get a Mac” ad, enjoy the video:

September 7, 2009

Saudi Telecom (STC) and Mobily ad wars

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:32 am

The eternal feud between the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily will never end apparently.

Starting this Ramadan Mobily has aired some ads showing their Mobily Broadband @ Home service. This ad shows a person installing a DSL land line, happily saying “they are finally installing the Internet”, he did not say “finally” but his expressions show that he is happy that he finally got his DSL Internet connection (from STC).

This second ad is about the wireless features of the modem, it reminds me of the good old days of dial up modems (oh wait, STC DSL still feels like a dial up modem sometimes). The third ad shows people screaming in frustration with their disconnected Internet connections (something I am sure everyone in Saudi Arabia has experienced).

So on September 6th, STC has aired a counter advertisement which ironically airs at the same time as Mobily ads:

The ad clearly copied how Mobily customer care desks looked like, the blue square logo on the modem and how the modem looked. The customers were trying to get a good signal by extending the modem out of the window. The guy using STC’s service said “they got screwed”.

I am no fan of Mobily; their billing system is inaccurate and they are ruining the iPhone 3G/3GS experience in Saudi Arabia (I got into the details at SaudiMac). STC isn’t any better; Mobily is truly the lesser evil of the two.

August 31, 2009

STC is having problems with their billing system

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 2:09 pm

Hopefully it’s not a huge problem. But many people are reporting that their STC bills are inaccurate. That’s due to the fact that STC is upgrading their ancient billing system and with that upgrade they will start releasing bills by the end of this month.

The initial rumors were that STC has lost the customer data during the upgrade, but let’s hope they are smarter than that.

Here is one of many Twitter messages about it: “Believe it or not #STC lost its Data, I just called them and my old bill is exactly the same with my new bill, how com??”.

August 27, 2009

Hitler can’t get STC DSL (with English translation)

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:45 am

Even Hilter is angry at the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and their crappy DSL service! He could only get 512kbps DSL to his house. Watch the video (Arabic subtitles):

Youtube video removed, it was posted here.

I understand his frustration with STC!

If anyone wants an English transcript I am willing to translate. Just ask. Special thanks to @yassoma from twitter for posting the link to the video.

I have translated it, here you go:

(more…)

April 30, 2009

Feedburner down for STC Afaq DSL subscribers

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 9:52 am

Feedburner, one of the leading RSS feed providers is experiencing some problems with Saudi Arabia users. Almost all of the podcasts on the Internet are using feedburner’s services. But now when you try to load a feed you will get the following error “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable”. This error usually happens when a server is down.

I have verified that the feeds are working on a Mobily connection so this problem is specific to STC Afaq DSL shamel. STC’s telephone support have no idea what I am talking about as well.

It should be noted that although Saudi Arabia have multiple DSL providers all of them go through STC’s landline and you still need to pay STC a subscription fee in addition to what you pay to the ISP.

Update: I have just verified from a friend living in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia who is also an STC subscriber that he is getting the same error “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable”!
Update 2: although this problem happens with STC customers (DSL and Jawalnet) reconnecting (changing your IP address) fixes it. Apparently one of the STC servers is messed up, not all of them.

March 23, 2009

Internet disconnected in Riyadh, CITC last to know

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 9:34 am

A malfunction in one of the servers in the main STC Olaya switch box in Riyadh caused a large amount of disconnections (35-45% of the subscribers in Riyadh). The malfunction happened Saturday 21st of March 2009.

Alriyadh newspaper reported that STC was working on fixing it since Saturday. They also contacted the spokesperson for CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission), Sultan Almalik and he said that he have no information about the malfunction!

From Alriyadh newspaper (Arabic link).

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