I'm sure much of this will already have been covered (been out for a couple of days). But since it was addressed to me....

Don't know the details of the truck driver story, but if it wasn't his responsibility all he needs to do is leave the truck blocking the loading dock and walk into the store and ask the manager to call his boss and they can get it sorted from there.

As for the pickles, if Walmart decides all they want to pay for a gallon of pickles is 3.97 that is their right. No one is forcing anyone to sell at 3.97.

The legislature of CA is costing CA millions of dollars each year, not Walmart. If the legislature wants to pick up the tab for workers who aren't insured by their employer that is their own fault. Are you going to complain about every other business in CA that doesn't insure their employees?

A little bit of research on the internet will also fill me in about black helicopters and tinfoil hats...

The trick is conveying to your customer what your plan is in terms that they understand. I'm in a primarily residential market and compete with DSL. The selling point of my service, is just that service. I still have to compete with Qwest pricing but I only have to be close on cost to speed and sell them on the service. It isn't that hard to sell service vs the phone company.

But I have to disagree with everyone that is on the bitcap bandwagon. I understand fully the issues that come with p2p and streaming video but that is what is driving the internet today. I take pride in providing the internet to my customers and I want to provide the type of internet service I would expect from my connection. The internet is no longer about web pages and email it is about podcasts, video streams and downloaded movies and if we aren't ready to provide that type of service they we are just relagating ourselves to being the new dialup with 128K plans and draconian bandwidth policies.

I don't see bit metering (paying by the bit not on a transfer rate) as being a billing model for the future because every other communication model is trending away from it and I doubt the customer will put up with it given a choice. Phone service is abandoning the per minute pricing for pricing plans which are tending toward unlimited minutes (mobile to mobile, home network, after hours).

Also as more and more services migrate to the internet people are not going to want to worry about their bit caps. The idea of having to look at the file size of a netflix movie download and they try to figure out how much it is going to cost me to download (above the netflix cost) reminds me all to much of the old dailup days when we were paying by the minute.

As a businessman you should be trying to squeeze every last dime out of your customers. The trick is to provide the service that will make them want to pay every last dime of it.

   Sam Tetherow
   Sandhills Wireless

John J. Thomas wrote:
Sam, Walmart has made most of its money by screwing others.

Truck driver makes delivery to Walmart ad unload pallets. Goes to have 
receiving sign for them. Receiving refuses to sign, and says that *after* the 
truck driver *unloads* the items off the pallets, then he will sign. This is 
NOT the truck drivers responsibility.

Walmart decides that a Gallon jar of pickles shoud cost $3.97-*regardless* of 
whether the company can make 10 cents on that. Company sells $3.97 jar of 
pickles and goes bankrupt after that.

Walmart is costing the State of California Millions of dollars each year just by telling 
its employees " we won't give you that benefit, but if you go apply for State 
assistance, they will."

A little bit of research on the Internet will show you to what degree they have 
gone to to screw others. If that is the way you want to do business, then so be 
it. Me, my family and anyone else I have influence over won't do business with 

You have to structure your pricing in a way that you can successfully market. I have a 
problem with those people that say "512k unlimited $39.99 per month". Then, 
when you download a single movie, they cut your service. That is Dishonesty-period. If 
you tell your clients, 4 Gig for $39.99, then there is no issue. I'm sure MANY are going 
to jump in and tell me I'm wrong, and they certainly have a right to. At some point, this 
will have to be the way it works-you can't sell unlimited pipes for $39.99 per month, 
when you have to pay $100 or more per month-the economics are not there.

I applaud Marlon for what he is doing, and I hope that he will review his 
pricing regularly. If he finds that he can drop the rates a bit, or adjust the 
limits upward, I'm sure his clients will appreciate it. They should also 
appreciate that fact that he isn't trying to squeeze every last dime from them.

John Thomas

-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Tetherow [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:49 PM
To: 'WISPA General List'
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Service Offerings - Competing

There actually are some of us out here that don't have this luxury in our markets. My total market is approximately 3000 people (not households) and I have to go 45 miles in any direction to find another town with more than 80 people in it.

I'm not saying this in a 'woe is me' tone, just stating a fact. Some of us operate in the well under 10,000 people areas where 'finding a higher ARPU customer' is not really a viable option. We have to be all things in order to have enough customers to pay the bills. The top 10% of my market would get me less than 100 customers and they would have an average income of less than $100K.

As a slightly off-topic aside: (those that don't want to listen to my ramblings can safely stop here :)

I do find the Walmart reference interesting. Since I have started this business I have tried to read as much as I can in terms of business, marketing and sales books. Having come from a purely tech background it astounds me how clueless I really was until I started a business.

One of the things that I have struggled with is the price point vs service aspect of the business. Obviously being the cheapest option has it's sales advantages, especially in the residential best effort internet business. But as we all know, being the cheapest makes it a bit harder to pay the bills.

When I read business and marketing books they all espouse the higher end customer is the better customer view. I understand this view, you have a valued customer who is willing to pay a reasonable price for quality service. You look at brands like Lexus and Bose and think, these are the people I need to be like. These companies have made millionaires. But what I find interesting is that companies like Walmart and McDonalds who do live in the quantity, not quality world have made billionaires. The trick seems to be, if you can somehow manages to be the cheapest and do it right you can make a boat load of money and it doesn't have to be at the expense of the customer.

 Sam Tetherow
 Sandhills Wireless

Peter R. wrote:
John J. Thomas wrote:

But, the model will work if you bill by the bytes....

If Joe is paying $40 per month for 6 Gig and gets throttled at 6 Gig, then he has a disincentive for keeping going. If he is paying $40 for unlimited access, he has no reason to slow down.

Charter cable is doing 10 meg down/1 meg up in some markets for like $99 per month, how can you compete with that?

Well, the reality is this: you can't compete with it.  And why try?
Why not move upstream to a larger ARPU customer?
Cable & ILEC can handle and deliver service to the masses cheaply - for now. But there is a segment of every population that needs more than the cheap dumb pipe attached to the cheap dumb support. That is the GAP. That is where the money is.

That is where your market is. But it may mean selling beyond just a pipe.

I've been preaching this for years - and clients that have listened - narrowed their focus; but the shotgun (marketing) away; have done well..

See articles here: http://www.rad-info.net/newsletters/walmart16.htm And there: http://www.rad-info.net/newsletters/winninger.htm


Peter Radizeski
(813) 963-5884
WISPA Wireless List: wireless@wispa.org


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