Wednesday, July 4, 2007

toma, Telefonica, muy hijos de puta!

Never one to miss a party, the newer sexier EU is delivering some fireworks of its own on this July 4th. One of my most hated companies ever, Spanish monopolio Telefonica, has been busted for being a big bully. Toma! I’m going to recharge my Movistar mobile today with something resembling glee. (Glee: a weird word.)

Aside from lovely beaches and scrumptious food, Spain is known for having the highest mobile phone rates in Europe—which is saying something. (It is saying that Spaniards and their happy expat communities are consumerist fools who willingly overpay for the luxury of sending messages all night from a bar without actually paying attention to their immediate surroundings and, like, talking on the metro.) Worst among the offenders is Movistar, a company famous for its ubiquitous publicity and just-good-enough customer service that saves lazy people the stress of switching to a smaller, less monopolistic network. In a world market where bad companies should go the way of the Insular Cave Rat (that is, extinct) and the consumer should be king, Movistar reveals capitalism's unfortunate loophole, in which the rich get richer and the masses keep getting screwed.

How appropriate indeed that the EU mark the anniversary of my great nation’s founding by invoking one of its most sacred values: fair competition in an open market. Granted, we still have a few monopolios ourselves in America—especially when they are believed to serve the public good in certain industries, like computers and the international arms trade. But whatever. Rest of the world, you should know this by now: Do as we say, not as we do.

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