Maybe if Timor Telecom paid pulsa vendors a fair price for their work that would stop the practise of adding extra to the card – but as poor Timor Telecom have such small profits, even when they charge the highest price for phone calls in the world can’t see them paying the vendors for their work.
By the way when I was in Timor-Leste, someone in Timor Telecom’s office tried to charge me more for a card, he said ‘because of the emergency situation’ said I would pay the price on the card, he smiled and agreed.
Tyneside Timor Solidarity.
>Tumbleweed: Timor Telecom warning
> Tumbleweed in Timor Lorosae
> “Timor Telecom warning message/ Price of recharge is printed in the
> card. Please do not pay more.” This beeped into our cells at
> lunchtime today. For those still scratching their heads over why the
> message, it’s because the pulsa sellers have been charging 25 to 75
> cents more for every $5 recharge card they sell. Last night when we
> drove by Acait, the cards were going for $5.25, then at Audian it was
> $5.50. Today a colleague went around town and concluded that $5.25
> was the lowest $5 card being sold, $5.75 being the highest!
> Thankfully, the price for the $10 are still the same. More than a
> year ago, I asked a pulsa vendor his profit on every phone card, i
> think it’s 10 cents for every $15 card they sold so i can’t imagine
> how much they can earn on a $5 card! No wonder these guys are upping
> the price, and obviously this has reached TT’s ears. It’s the same
> isn’t it in Indonesia? The streetside pulsa vendors also charge
> extra. Actually, the same has already happened in Baucau and Lautem (
> and perhaps other districts) when phonecards are more difficult to
> come by. Now, this price hike on the $5 card seems to have become a
> consensus across Dili, so how can we “not pay more?” Only 1 choice,
> buy a $10 card. But if you only have so few dollars in your pocket,
> you just have no choice but to concede another $0.25 to the vendor or
> spend $0.20 travelling to TT’s office to get the originally-priced cards.