First Coffee

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 132 in A minor, performed by the Quartetto Italiano for a 1967 Philips recording:

Vonage has announced that it will change its registration process to make 911 services an opt-out, rather than an opt-in option. This sound business and marketing move should get the attorney generals of Connecticut, Michigan, Texas and New York off its back, at least for a little while.

According to Paul Kapustka, Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron said the change would happen “sometime this summer,” as  part of an overall revamping of the company’s 911 services implementations.

With over 650,000 claimed sign-ups Vonage is the leading VoIP provider, so First Coffee© suspects that depending on how effective this new policy is in quashing lawsuits, it will quickly become the industry norm.

According to Citron, Vonage customers would automatically be signed up for some level of 911 during initial registration, and would have to specifically request not to have it, which First Coffee© is sure somebody with a walnut for a brain will do thinking he’ll have a lower phone bill by doing so, and about a week later try to call 911 when he shoots a foot off while using a shotgun to deter roaches from gittin’ at his homebrew, and when it’s not there he’ll file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit and the state’s attorney general who’d really like to be governor will seize upon this and make a huge deal out of (slap slap) Huh? Oh sorry.

Of course Vonage and the industry are cocking an eye to next Thursday’s open meeting of the FCC, where chairman Kevin Martin will probably announce something to make VoIP providers implement 911 services.

First Coffee© is sure there will be some sort of 911 requirements, it’s the nature of government to require things, and it’s probably a good idea but would like Chairman Martin to bear in mind that the problem isn’t simply VoIP providers neglecting 911, but their trouble getting access to the emergency-call infrastructure run by the large telcos like Verizon, SBC, BellSouth and Qwest, who would like to offer customers their own VoIP services. A mandate to open the emergency services infrastructure would greatly help the independents and provide better competition and services all around.

Kai-Uwe Ricke, chief executive of Deutsche Telekom AG has announced that the German telecommunications company won’t bid for Turk Telekom.

Although Turkish minister of transportation and communication Binali Yildirim had asked Deutsche Telekom to reconsider their position, Ricke declined to enter a bid, declaring “I can be clear on this: we have no interest in (bidding for Turk Telekom).”

Yildirim was reported saying that, although Deutsche Telekom already has dropped out of the bidding process, the Turkish government would still welcome a bid from the Germans before the bidding period ends in late May.

Millions of Turks live and work in Germany, millions more visit Germany and the cultural affinity of Turks for Germany is strong, so the German company was a favored suitor for Turk Telekom.

Turk Telekom, which owns most of Turkey’s fixed line telecoms infrastructure and has more than 19 million wireline subscribers, is slated for privatization this summer with the sale of a 55% stake. Analysts estimate the sale could fetch the Turkish government as much as $5 billion.

Yet given the fact that the word “Byzantine” arose in this country, and after living here a while First Coffee© understands why the adjective so richly applies to Turkish state asset sales, most all European telecom companies who were interested have pulled out of the bidding, leaving Telecom Italia SpA as the last potential strategic bidder from the European continent.

Fluke Networks is announcing the release of NetTool VoIP, which combines cable, network, IP phone and PC configuration testing into a single device. The idea is to put inline testing in the hands of front-line technicians so they can take care of more problems on the spot, without having to kick them back to higher-level engineers with more complex tools.

Users can also monitor VoIP service at the edge, enabling technicians to see into VoIP calls by connecting between the phone and the network. Dan Klimke, Fluke’s marketing manager for portable network analysis says the tool should “cut down the time it takes to troubleshoot IP phone deployment and close trouble tickets,” since technicians now “can quickly determine if the problem is the cabling, switch port, phone or configuration.”

A recent KFC advertisement showing call center workers singing with their mouths full has prompted complaints from nearly 1,000 angry parents, winning it the honor – sorry, honour – of being Britain’s Most Complained About TV Ad.

The commercial shows a group of emergency call center workers singing on the phone while eating their KFC lunches. Evidently parents who let their kids watch all manner of violence, cheating, lying, double-dealing and killing on television were concerned that it encourages bad manners.

To their credit KFC has refused to drop the ad, perhaps knowing it’s stumbled onto a gold mine of free publicity.

The spot was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty to promote the Zinger Chicken Salad, and has been on the air less than two weeks.

A Pot Noodle advertisement that showed a man with a giant brass horn in his trousers, which scored 61 complaints in its first 11 days on air earlier this year.

Last year’s most offensive TV ad was for Mr. Kipling mince pies, which showed a woman giving birth during a nativity play. That scored 806 complaints, was banned by the ASA and introduced First Coffee© to Mr. Kipling mince pies simply by racking up complaints. Ah, the free press.

Other highlights in British advertising history include a Wrigley’s Excite chewing gum commercial that showed a man with bad breath apparently coughing up a dog which garnered 860 complaints, and the notorious Yves Saint-Laurent 2000 Opium poster (sorry guys, no link) featuring naked supermodel Sophie Dahl, which First Coffee© had to examine out of journalistic duty, and which caused 733 complaints. No word on how many compliments.

The all-time champion is a 1995 British Safety Council leaflet on safe sex portraying the Pope in a crash helmet, which scored 1,100 complaints.

First Coffee© would like to remind the world at large, preferably with a substantial fine, that it’s “espresso,” not “expresso.”


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