Buyer Beware

Buyer beware is such an old and consistent warning that the Latin version ‘Caveat emptor’ is still part of everyday speech. It is very easy when going through the buying process to speed read the supporting contract and then sign it on the basis that they “are all the same”. Perhaps worse is to spot something and then when the salesman says “But we never enforce that.” allow it to stay in the contract.

In the world of airtime contracts are king. This is especially true if you are a couple of years down the line and few or none of the original parties are still working for the companies involved. The simple fact is irrespective of intent and the discussions around the signing point if your contract states:

‘On termination or expiry of the agreement for any reason, the customer shall as soon as is reasonably practical deliver to us or at our option destroy all or any SIM cards.’

Then that is what you are bound to do.

We know of several large M2M companies who are now caught in the dilemma of being unhappy with their current provider because of congested private networks, lack of technical support or poor customer service but find that the contract forces them to physically swap the SIM if they move provider despite being on the same network.

Those SIMs are now buried in trucks on different continents or in meters scattered all over the country. Recover may be difficult, it will certainly be expensive. Which is why the clause is there- nobody leaves.

This compounds those companies view that their experience of M2M is poor with a sense now of being trapped in that under-performing relationship. Will those companies still embrace M2M in their next product or service? It seems unlikely, which damages us all. 

Written by Douglas Gilmour

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