Markets and oligopolies "shear" their customers
Daily musings #629- Monday, 28 November 2022
Market monopolies and oligopolies are always anti-customer constructs. And we are on the receiving end of things for a variety of products and services. There is poor service, apathy, and an often don’t-care attitude. And “build it and they will come as they have no options” mindset.
I was recently in Spain a month ago and I was amazed by the cost of the services for internet, TV and mobile phones. Unlimited home internet with a gamut of IP/TV options coupled with a pair of mobile phones with unlimited calling, text, and internet was about Euro 80. About C$110 where I live. We pay C$300 for 4 phones, C$100 for the internet and C$100 for the TV. And to top it the mobile internet is capped at 25 GB (and just last year it was a measly 10 GB per phone). Apples to Apples we pay $350 for what they pay $110 for. Three times higher price.
Our Canadian market compares poorly to our neighbor down south, but Europe certainly has evolved better options than those in North America.
And if this seems ridiculous, it is even more so when compared to what my 92-year-old dad pays for his unlimited fiber internet (which is using cables still running on tree tops), plus a home phone, a mobile phone with 4G and unlimited internet and cable TV all for less than C$20 per month. His phone service alone is less than C$5 for unlimited calls, text, and internet. Perhaps population matters, but the disparities cannot be to this extent.
Well, we are stuck. And slowly we need to extricate ourselves from the midst of this. Going off cable will be a start, but the streaming services are all becoming more expensive by the day to become the “new cable” service. I see ground-up new opportunities in this space for innovation and competition. If one can only find a way around these monopolies and oligopolies. It is a generational change, but it has been done before. Netflix and Uber are examples. But though I wait with my fingers crossed, I don’t expect miracles in the near future.