[Translation of the previous blog post]

Because I’m an owner of Amazon Kindle, actually I have both – Kindle 2 and Kindle DX, I was curious why we don’t have 3G on Kindle. The same question was raised by my colleagues, friends, which have or plan to buy Kindle. Strange indeed, when mobile penetration in Lithuania is ~150%, which means ~1.5 mobile phone per person, and we are FTTH leaders worldwide – cannot receive simple service. According the numbers it seems that we are gadget/geek country, and when one person has ~1,5 mobile phone – selling voice plans is most probably a hard business. It seems that one should think about delivering additional data services. Kindle data services could be one of those, but it isn’t.

On this occasion I’ve sent an e-mail to info@ addresses indicated on Bite and Omnitel respective pages, and pointed out, that I am planning to disclose the answers on my blog (which I’m doing right now). Questions were simple:

  • Why it is impossible to use 3G on Kindle devices?
  • Do you plan to agree with Amazon and provide the ability to use all device benefits?
  • When it will happen?

It didn’t take a while to receive the response.

Omnitel "admin" responded with the message of the following content: "We do not plan selling these devices, therefore we do not plan providing any support". Talking about customer service it is to put it mildly double rubbish:

  • The response itself is nonsense. How device sales are related? I can buy it from Amazon without help from Omnitel. Aren’t they interested in potential revenue for data services, especially when the logistics here is minimal. After such answer you feel like hit with the soppy cloth straight into the face. Maybe they didn’t understand? They could clarify. Maybe they are planning to sell iPad’s, but I’m not asking about those. And by the way, I’m not planning to read books on a computer screen. And also, there are rumors, that one of the popular programs on the iPad is – Kindle Reader Smile
  • The answer from "admin" also isn’t promising a lot. First of all – source is almost anonymous, i.e. you never learn who is he and what is his role in the company. And of course no chances to discuss the question in more detail. All internet is buzzing that the communication with customers must be more interactive and personal, then this case is total opposite of that.

The response from Bite was a double surprise. First of all, I’ve received a phone call from Raminta, company’s representative for public relations (PR Smile). I think, it was right, because I wrote in my e-mail that it will go public. During the call she was interested how urgent is my query. Just few hours later I got e-mail with the response (approximate translation follows):

"We are negotiating with Amazon.com service provider AT&T regarding Kindle service already for a long while, but because a small customer number and market potential all negotiation attempts were vain.

We continue to persist and hope that this service will be accessible to our clients"

Immediately you can see several differences:

  • Communication is personal and immediate
  • PR representative sorted out situation and responded adequately
  • Response was comprehensive and adequate. It doesn’t mean that I’m happy with the situation, but knowing the fact that Kindle users are not forgotten – is at least not disappointing

Summarizing:

  • Omnitel #FAIL (somehow nothing new)
  • AT&T #FAIL (again, as always)

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