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

March 16, 2009

STC is confused by the date

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:29 pm

Yet another annoying error on STC’s website. When trying to view a bill the STC website is confused by the date. Here’s an example: it claims that July 16th 2008 is greater (after) than Mar 16th 2009!

stc-online-confused-date

March 14, 2009

STC’s m3com service unstable?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:05 am

What is the deal with STC‘s m3com service? No English support, annoying interface, lots of soccer/football crap. And what’s worse: their site fails to load many times. Here’s an example:

wwwm3comcomsa-empty

Empty html and body tags, nothing more. Hope STC fix their websites soon!

March 6, 2009

STC offering the lowest Internet rates

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:12 pm

In another telecommunication innovation, STC announced they offer the lowest rates … on dial-up! From 3SR per hour to 2.5SR per hour. In small print “this offer is valid for a limited period only” which is only 2 months!

(more…)

January 24, 2009

Mobily profits, STC falls

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:25 pm

Itihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second-largest mobile phone operator beat analysts’ fourth-quarter earnings forecasts due to higher revenues from voice and data services. Mobily made 778 million riyals ($207.5 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, 51 percent higher than the 514.4 million riyals ($137.2 million) it made a year-earlier, the firm said in a statement posted on the bourse’s website.” from ArabianBusiness.com.

STC on the other hand the Arab world’s “largest telecom company” by market value, posted a worse-than-expected 62 percent fall in Q4 profit, on Tuesday, blaming the fall on foreign currency fluctuations. Via ArabBusiness.com as well.

STC should concentrate on improving their services, increasing their coverage and lower their prices! And NOT wasting their money (the customers’ money) on useless deals with Manchester United!!

United are out to land a new £125million shirt sponsorship deal – with Saudi Telecom favourites to get their name on the famous shirt. AIG yesterday confirmed they would not be renewing their £19m-a-year sponsorship deal at the end of next season.

November 8, 2008

Beware of the STC free after 5 minutes “offer”

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

We talked about this before. STC’s promotion claimed free calls after the 5th minute. What they did not disclaim is that the offer ends at the 21st minute, so you are only getting 15 minutes free which is okay. But STC did NOT disclose that. Customers are in an uproar about that and are demanding a refund from STC.

Alweeam (Arabic page) is reporting about that and you can see how frustrated the customers are from the comments. STC did not comment on that situation until now. Hopefully The Communications and Information Technology Commission will do something about it as soon as possible.

November 7, 2008

Internet is down, is it Awalnet or STC’s fault?

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:37 pm

I have been having trouble with Awalnet DSL connection since yesterday. The “DSL connection” status in my Linksys model is connected but the “Gateway” status is down! It only connects for a few minutes every few hours then disconnects for no reason! I tried to contact Awalnet support but their 800 toll-free number is unavailable for mobile phones! I blame the STC for that because they are offering a crippled 800 service.

Claiming that support is available for 24 hours/7 days/365 days is just a big lie. I have been trying to call their support line 8001241400 since 1a.m. this Friday and all I get is a busy tone. They either have no support or are greatly understaffed, in other words, UNPREPARED as a company to handle the load on customer service!

I have been to two coffee shops with wireless Internet access and both were down as well, can you guess the ISP? It’s Awalnet as well! Awalnet should offer a service status indicator on their site the same way Sahara is doing. Do you have similar problems? feel free to share!

Update: I had to call their business support number and they answered immediately, they claimed the problem is from the Saudi Telecom Company (STC)! Looks like a lack of communications and the victim, as usual, is the consumer! Shame on you both, Awalnet and STC!

Update 2: I was reminded that STC owns Awalnet since early 2007! How can each of them put the blame on the other?

November 3, 2008

STC’s free calls after 5 minutes offer is a lie

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:32 pm

I got an email from Waleed saying that the current offer from STC (any call longer than 5 minutes will be free, so they will only charge you the first 5 minutes) is a big lie! Apparently most calls cannot make it to the 10th minute before it gets disconnected! Whether it is deliberate or just a network overload is not known.

Do you have similar problems with this “offer”? Do you notice sudden disconnections after the 5th minute? Feel free to post a comment bellow!

September 16, 2008

STC’s new, overhyped logo and ad madness

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 2:50 pm

Once again, STC comes up with a new, original, logo for their company… The logo was first used by an Indonesian partner that STC owns a majority of.

STC also updated their site to reflect on this new logo. I would link to the press release about this new logo, but the English news page at the STC site is not up to date, showing news from August. But it’s available on the Arabic site. With the new logo STC had probably the biggest advertisement campaign until now. Most likely to deal with the new third mobile carrier in Saudi Arabia, Zain. Those ads were on every major newspaper in Saudi Arabia and it was annoying. They modified the front page of those newspapers with the colors of the STC logo. Modifying the front page news’ text color, making it hard to read most of the time. Here are some examples:
Alriyadh newspaper sells out to STC Alwatan magazine with STC ad Hayatt Newspaper with STC ad Riadiah with STC ad Ashraq Alawsat with STC ad

Those ads were extremely annoying and made reading the newspapers uncomfortable. They should probably spend that money on improving their infrastructure. Their DSL service is probably one of the most expensive in the world and compared to what we get for it, very bad. It’s also worth mentioning that they will probably slash 3000 people off their workforce, or %15:

Al-Duweish said consolidation within the group was key to improving efficiency, and that he hoped to cut expenses by 15 percent. The group planned to cut 3,000 jobs out of its workforce of 21,000, or 14 percent, he said.

April 22, 2008

Gitex Riyadh 2008 Review

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:00 am

The show has become a telecommunication show, with STC and Mobily (the 2 telecoms in Saudi Arabia) taking almost half the exhibition space, which is unfortunate, there’s usually a mobile and telecommunications show and there is no reason to merge it into Gitex. The other “part” of Gitex was simply computer resellers offering their products.

A few years ago, before Gitex was held in Riyadh, the same building used now was holding a “computer show” which is simply a reseller exhibition where they offer promotions and discounts, no innovation at all.

Asking non-“computer geeks” about the show and what do they think about it, they are under the impression that this is a “telecommunications first and computer sales” show. I guess thats enough for the REC organizers who are paying the license to Gitex. Asking others who attended “real” computer exhibitions like “CeBit” and “Gitex Dubai” the original Gitex and they would say that the complete building of REC expo is only as small as one of the many halls in CeBit or Gitex Dubai.

One of the only innovative thing was AMD showing their new triple core CPUs. Unfortunately, the stand where the AMD distributor (Almasa) was not finished in the first day of Gitex (and honestly I have no reason to return) and Almasa’s site is not mentioning Gitex in their news section. Another is Zai, a local PC OEM, announcing a deal with nVidia to offer gaming PCs this is new for the market because almost no high end video cards appear in the local market, only 2 stores ( PATH and Softland/Binaries ) offer them at extremely high prices ( almost %40 added to the original price ). And that’s the only news I found about Gitex from Google News.

Other companies to note: Samsung, Panasonic (with their new AVCHD cameras), a full section Taiwanese companies looking for local dealers. Also in the exhibition: CITC, MCIT, Sadad Payment System( a Saudi IT project, they even had a new iMac on display, best part of Gitex Riyadh 😉 ), Garmin dealers ( I question the need for that in this show), Riyadh School (again, why?), HTC, i-mate, ITE (Logitech distributor in UAE) I thought we already had a Logitech distributor in Saudi Arabia, Mishaal Sudairy, they got a very old and outdated page though, who redirects his .com.sa domain to some other subdomain? that’s just unprofessional.

Missing from the show: Microsoft (for the second or third year now), Apple, Sony, Intel, Hitachi (they had an amazing stand last year).

The Gitex Shopper had nothing to offer, just “cheap” laptops and a total mess.

The REC Expo building is the same old building with very bad parking arrangements. The entrance to the expo was a total mess, people pushing, no organization at all.

My rating of the show? 2/5. Considering it was a bit bitter, I mean better, than last years’ show which I give it a 1/5. So again: don’t bother, just go to Gitex in Dubai in a few months, it will be worth your time. Anything is better than this.

December 17, 2007

STC and the big lie

Filed under: Saudi Internet — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:11 pm

Well, STC has done it again, after announcing free internet access in the “news” they actually charge for it. Misleading advertisement if you ask me. This is reported by a friend of mine who is at Mina right now.

Before I travel to Makkah I stc announced that they are going to provide free internet in mina in hajj , and they are going to cover all mina With wireless network . When I came to mina trying to log in to the internet a page appear asking me to enter my username and password !! I read the service help link , and I realized that I have to pay 15 SR for every hour or 50 SR for every 5 hours !!! Why they announce that its going to be free then do the opposite !

All I have to say is, you fail STC! And don’t get me started on the “smart road” thing…

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