Phone Rates Reduced to Encourage More Overseas Calls

Chinese telecommunications operators are charging more for domestic calls beginning this month, but they cut the rates for international calls.

They hope to improve communications between China and the rest of the world.

In addition to raising domestic phone charges, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) has hiked domestic mail prices about 150%.

The rate hikes apparently aren’t high enough to elicit public complaints.

Li Yahui, a public telephone booth owner in Beijing, said her clients responded “in silent compliance, as if they are used to such changes.” The MPT and State Planning Commission (SPC), announced the increases in a circular. It says citywide calls should increase 20% from the present level. Postage will jump to 0.5 yuan ($0.06) for the domestic mail of letters.

The MPT and SPC say the increases are in line with a series of government measures keeping the country’s inflation at bay.

In April, the year-on-year retail price growth was 4.7%, and consumer prices, which include service rates, registered a 7% growth, according to the State Statistics Bureau.

“Price changes are so important that they are expected to prevent the MPT’s 500,000-member staff and phone companies from continuously losing billions of yuan annually,” MPT officials said.

Additionally, the MPT cut the international phone rates by 30%. Previously, the cost of a call from Beijing to the United States was 26.25 yuan ($3.16) per minute. It’s now 18.37 yuan ($2.21).

International phone rates have been high since the founding of New China, but they jumped 50% in 1994 because of changes in the country’s exchange rates against US dollars and other foreign currency.

In recent years, the high rates resulted in a marked drop in overseas calls from China. In contrast, international calls to China have increased because of comparatively lower costs in foreign countries.

The MPT said the decrease eventually would increase its revenue because more people would be making international calls from China.

Long Distance Phone Rates will not change, while local calls made in rural areas will drop, the MPT said.

Until late May, calls from rural areas were considered longdistance. Person-to-person calls in rural regions had to be linked through urban telephone exchange facilities.

Because China has developed its telephone networks, the MPT said it could recoup those costs from other sectors.

Meanwhile, installation costs for new urban subscribers decreased.

Customer relationship management for your company

To reach customers, companies have to move from a focus on making and selling products to a customer focus driven by understanding and responsiveness. Successful customer relationship management now encompasses everything from order taking and production through billing and post-sales support.

Having a well integrated information infrastructure focused on the customer is a critical success factor in today’s business environment. Undoubtedly, the role of CIOs will be defined by the need to reflect this business priority by mapping technology against newly reengineered processes. And for company, the support and partnership provided by its channel, and business partners is essential to being able to help customers better serve their customers.

These are certainly interesting and exciting times we share with our partners and customers. We are experiencing a quantum shift in the way business is conducted that affects every industry, every aspect of society – even our personal lives.

Driving this shift is technology. Companies must understand their particular industry’s technology dynamics – or risk losing out to competition if they try to deny change. Winners will be those companies that use crm consultants and new technologies to develop or preserve a unique relationship with their customers.

Technology developments like data mining, which is key to this focus on the customer as a “segment of one” which defies traditional market segmentation. Data mining uses sophisticated algorithms that, combined with the high-performance computing power of new parallel processor mainframes, can shift through millions of customer records in search of new trends and behaviors that may be missed by traditional market analysis.

Mobile applications also play a role. This has saved overhead costs and increased the amount of time spent with customers. This mobility and flexibility will be improved further by the emerging capability of wireless technology so that people can communicate from anywhere to anywhere without the constraints of telecommunications infrastructures.

Voice recognition and multimedia will play important roles in improving the ease of use and user friendliness of computers critical to good customer interaction. Multimedia kiosks, for example, enable organizations to reach out to customers in unexpected locations.

Companies becomes more proficient with information technology to support their customers, it will be critical for them to have the latest technology and outstanding support at their fingertips.

Liability insurance is required by law

In today’s society, you should have liability insurance to protect yourself against lawsuits. Homeowners and other real-estate owners buy insurance to protect against injuries on their property; auto business owners buy garage keepers liability insurance for protection against auto accidents; doctors, lawyers and other professionals need insurance to protect against malpractice claims.

While liability insurance is necessary to protect your life savings against lawsuits, it may not be sufficient. The insurance company that you expected to cover you against liability claims may disappear, exposing your personal savings to seizure.

A majority of firms with 1,000 employees or more are ready to contract product liability insurance to cover the risk of damages payments related to defective products.

In the manufacturing sector, one in every three firms intends to take out such insurance, according to a recent survey of the Marine and Fire Insurance Association. The survey covered about 4,800 companies.

The product liability system makes it easier for consumers to claim payments of damages inflicted on them by defective products, leaving manufacturers more sensitive to the management of risks involving their products.

The product liability system is expected to create a fresh market worth 200 billion dollars for the nonlife insurance industry, an industry official said.

The State Corporation Commission determined today that liability insurance is “readily available for most consumers with prices relatively stable,” and that the market generally is competitive.

However, the commission expanded its list of potentially non-competitive insurance lines to include environmental damage, asbestos abatement by commercial contractors, public housing and a broad range of products.

Liability for environmental damage, especially for underground fuel storage tanks, headed the list of new SCC concerns this year. Those lines were named most frequently by consumers surveyed for their views on the availability and affordability of liability insurance.