Why doesn`t MTN start their own forum on their own website. A forum where we can discuss problems and ideas. I now you are thinking "but we have this forum". Very few people knows about it. I think everyone knows www.mtn.co.za.
I don't really have a proper response to your suggestion Pata...
I can tell you that MTN has more to gain by linking from their site to this forum which provides a consumer's perspective and insight into the broadband marketplace, whereas the MTN site is simply limited to MTN customers.
If MTN's Customer Service & Support right here on MyADSL is perceived to be high quality, MTN is then able to draw more consumers and make customers out of them.
Naturally consumers can cut both ways, for or against, but look at what happened with WBS' own iBurst forum - the one that temporarily no longer exists - naturally many reasons for that...
Anyways I don't think MyADSL can be seen as an obstruction to MTN providing their own discussion forum, or Vodacom for that matter, but there are definite marketing benefits to having a support presence on MyADSL .
Thanks for these inputs. We certainly like the idea and have considered having a forum for some time because we naturally want to make it easy to communicate with sophisticated users. As IC indicated, there are complex issues around creating a quality and credible forum that is well supported.
My experience (going back some time) with internet forums and discussion groups is that the the type of people who participate actively often tend to also enjoy free, unfettered discussion and (sometimes) criticism and do not always trust that this will happen on a commercial site.
We will certainly review this. If such a site met customer needs that are not being met adequately it would be important.
oh yeah. and one other thing. independant forums save the SP's money because they dont have to host it, and there is a plethora of skill available to help their customers with any problems. i wonder how many people have solved their technical issues here without having to call the SP for assistance. Poll IC?
I have had a discussion with another provider about this issue. They were also considering opening a forum, but then decided to kill the project for the following reason:
They felt that it might not be acceptable to host and ‘support’ a forum where their products and employees are openly criticized. There can obviously be problems if senior management gets criticized, and even when company problems make it onto the forums etc. The solution would be to moderate such forums and simply delete these posts, but then this can be seen as a forum where only good things (acceptable maybe) will be allowed. This censorship will then simply drive people to independent forums where true open discussions are allowed. I think the iBurst forum is a good example, but it will definitely be interesting if MTN has an internal discussion about this.
I think a possible solution to this problem can be:
To have two forums for each company (or at least the ones that are interested) on MyADSL: one which we moderate and one which MTN (or the company involves) moderate. All the information is therefore in one place, but they can use the one forum for informing users about their products, discussing technical issues etc. They can keep it clean by deleting unnecessary criticisms etc. The other forum is an open forum about their products which is moderated by us. They are also welcome to answer questions here, but will have to face the heat if the product gives problems (as we have seen with basically all the services).
I think this can solve many problems… I would love to hear your feedback on this.
The one thing I have enjoyed thus far on these fora is my ability to make informed decisions as to what technology to choose to suit my needs. However, part of this decision is looking at various criticisms levelled at various providers, Vodacom, MTN, iBurst or whoever, including service levels etc. There is nothing wrong with open criticism... taking cognisance of this improves your reputation in the market.
I will endorse some degree of moderation (but only in terms of relevance to the forum itself) but I will not go with any form of other "censorship". Yes, if the comments border on slander then the moderator will need to step in....
Most of the various fora I am a member of have commercial sections where any form of advertising goes - within the advertising laws. The only proviso is that, as such, you forego anonimity...
Funny thing is - no-one seems to complain about ANYTHING levelled at Telkom
We certainly will have a more detailed discussion within MTN on a forum but this will not happen overnight. The point about this website is that it has grown organically and through free choice and is meeting a need and once one tries to make changes the dynamics of success can be affected - often inadvertently.
Please continue to post queries for us to resolve and suggestions for us to consider.