Ok, so I work for a call center outsourcing company on a contract doing customer care for a mobile company. The company’s been around for a while, and now it’s shutting down because their parent company Hutchison decided that 3g is a better bet (it is) and CDMA isn’t the way to go anymore.
I’d have to agree with them - most of the customers on the network were there because they got the cheapest service they could find, and it worked for them - most of the time. The phones sucked, the network sucked more, and while it was more profitable than 3g before they decided that the end was near, maintaining an old network isn’t a good business plan. The ability to focus your capital and human resources on a newer product tends to be the smart idea in business.
So, as of the 1st of February 2006, they decided that they would no longer provision new services, and that existing customers would be aggresively marketed to so as to push them to the 3g product. This worked well - over 200,000 customers moved in under three months - over 60% of the active number pool. They paid out contracts, they gave away cheap plans and phones, it probably cost them a lot of money, but in doing so, they locked most of those customers into contracts so they were less likely to change providers, thus retaining the revenue stream.
As for the affect on me - this is the sad part of my story. I started with Stellar on the 5th of August 2004, and the network’s due to shut down on the 9th of August 2006. Nice anniversary present! My contract’s customer care, and it’s due to end on the 31st of August 2006 as far as us, the minions, have been told. It could go longer, but not much further - by that time all the postpaid customers will have their final bill and will be paying it, and they don’t care what the prepaid customers do.
I don’t mind too much that my job’s likely to be over as I’ll get a redundancy payout of about two months’ pay, and I’ve already had two semi-reliable job offers. The plan now is to reduce non-vital spending, focus on paying off my debts, and efficiently work on getting the Gemini on the road so that if I do take up a job delivering pizzas, or any job where I need to drive to work, I won’t be paying $80+ a week on petrol like I am now with the PimpMobile.
The best option would be that we get another contract to work on, and I keep working for this company so that I don’t have to go through the garbage of starting afresh, but if not, I’ll just have to deal with it.