We just got another press statement that ZOL has issued on the Telco/ZOL disconnections for publication tomorrow . We’ve uploaded the press statement here, since the ZOL PR page on this issue hasn’t been updated yet (UPDATE (08 April 2010:1300hrs): the ZOL page has been updated)
The statement is titled “Update on unlawful disconnection by Telecontract and disruption of ZOL internet service and response to Telco press statement.” The update: Of the 200 customers disconnected on 25 March, 57 are still offline but will be moved to Africom by the time the statement is published – probably means by tomorrow morning.
Now that that’s out of the way, what caught our attention is the following subtitle in the statement: “Warning to all Internet Users of Telco Services”. ZOL here basically warns all Telco customers (even those not getting their internet from ZOL) to check their provider again. Here it is word for word:
ZOL wishes to advise the general public that Telco continues to offer services using equipment that it has not paid for. ZOL will be taking legal action to recover equipment that has not been paid for and to recover the outstanding monies that are due to ZOL. Unfortunately this could cause disruption to Telco services.
Apart from its indebtedness to ZOL, Telco has publicly admitted it borrowed funds last month to meet its obligations to ZIMRA and POTRAZ. We can only infer that Telco has a cash shortage that has possibly been exacerbated by the loss of our business. It also suggests to us that this could be the reason for Telco’s history of increasing prices without the approval of POTRAZ, and its insistence on 3-year contracts with no fixed price.
ZOL strongly advises Telco customers to confirm prices with POTRAZ as well as to consider future competition and the likely drop in prices before signing a 3‐year contract. There are huge developments in the region, with the likelihood of inexpensive and fast wireless and fibre connections being introduced later this year.
Came as a shocker to us really. I can imagine Telecontract’s reaction when they see this is in the press tomorrow. A phone call to their lawyers to check how much they can sue for this will probably be the first thing they do.
ZOL is clearly boldy going down a path we just warned them about in an article we posted earlier today. Like we mentioned in that article, nobody ever comes out of such dirty linen battles a winner. Really we don’t think this was necessary especially seeing they have transferred the bulk of the customers successfully. Maybe they know better.
Readers, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section below. What do you make of what’s going on? What’s your opinion?