Final Word from Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There are all kinds of contests in the CR for picking the best companies, some of which are sponsored by the very firms that win. Less prevalent are contests for vilifying the worst companies; such contests wouldn't attract many sponsors. Telefónica O2 is routinely rated the worst of the mobile operators and, as such, would have a good chance of excelling in a general "worst of" competition. It has three main "advantages." First is its poor customer service. Its technicians, for example, claim that its salespeople are trained to lie to customers about the technical possibilities. Second is the general problem, alluded to by Dana Bérová in HN, of mobile operators cutting corners and sending piles of cash to their foreign owners. Third is O2's unbeatable attribute of adopting local, gangster-like practices in seeking public IT contracts. O2 is considered a stable dividend stock, but it can't survive forever on its legacy status alone. Its first-half drop in net profits of 23.9% is perhaps a precursor to more "worsts" in the future. [Czech Republic SPT Telecom]

Glossary of difficult words

all kinds of - numerous, various;

prevalent - widespread in a particular area or at a particular time;

to vilify - to speak or write about in an abusive way;

to cut corners - to undertake something in what appears to be the easiest, quickest or cheapest way, esp. by omitting to do something important or by ignoring rules;

legacy - the pre-existing telecoms operator (originally SPT Telecom);

precursor - a person or thing that comes before of the same kind.


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