August 26th, 2013 - Additional Material
After writing the article below, vivo pulled out all the stops [coincidentally] and has been making my poor little laptop work overtime handling up to 30Kbps and almost 200Kbps on that half-hour bonus thingy.once a month.
However, for the last couple of weeks, vivo did something I considered impossible: they lowered the speed. It is currently 7Kbps - a little above the old modem telephone velocity.
There are four companies operating in Roraima, Brazil and [coincidentally] they all offer the same conditions.
Is this a cartel?
The reason other Internet users get 2 to 5Mbps is because the government is interested in its people. Here, the governement is interested in itself.
The people marched and Brazil is now rewarded with imported doctors from Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Cuba. There's a rumour going round that some of these medics actually speak a little Portuguese.
The reason for this migration is that the imported doc is prepared to work in the countryside whereas the national breed isn't. They like the big cities where they can clock on and leave five minutes later.
[Not all of them, some actually work up to 4 or 5 hours. A few work there cods off and are probably derided by their peers].
Some nurses steal the donated blood and sell it on the black market.
How many more marches will it take to have an imported Internet connection?
How much do you think? R$1,000.00 a month? R$10,000? R$25,000.00?
Way too little.
Remember that Arabian story with the wise man's reward of rice...
vivo can get you connected to the Internet for just 10 cents per megabyte per second.
Sounds great, so let's do some maths, shall we:
0,10 per megabyte per one second;
60 seconds in one minute;
60 minutes in one hour.
Let's pause and see how much an hour we are paying vivo...
0,10 x 60 x 60 = R$360.00 per hour.
That's a little over half a monthly minimum salary per hour. Let's continue:
24 hours in one day = 24 x 360.00 = R$8,640.00 per day.
Now we're really talking! We'll need to earn almost 14 monthly minimum salaries
an hour for our vivo Internet connection.
We'll not be eating too much rice, then, will we?
Last calculation to see how much we'll need each month:
30 days +- in each month = 30 x R$8,640.00 =
Here's the cute little fellow who's generosity knows all limits:
Idea for marketing people:
vivo ask you to design a 'logo' for their 'communications' company.
Your concept is a drunken purple humanoid thingy waving [goodbye?!].
It has no eyes, no ears and no mouth!
Communication? Where? How?
In vivo's case, it is without doubt the most honest representation they have.
One can spend hours asking them to explain why R$8.00
has been added to this month's bill.
Incidentally, Brazil got really 'tough' a couple of months ago and
vivo were banned from acquiring new clients for 30 days.
Yeah, right. With 60 million clients in the bag beforehand
it's like telling someone who's hospital for overeating
that he can't have desert.
Brazil does not like Brazilians.
Anyway, back to our theme... questions:
How did vivo come up with this million-dollar plan?
Which Brazilian government body sanctioned this?
Do you think we are talking corruption, incompetence, both or something else?
Is a foreigner the only person who has noticed this?
Having researched the net I have come to the conclusion that most countries
are offering around 5 Mbps for about 1- to 2% of a monthly minimum salary.
Can anyone comment on this?
Here is some further information on vivo's performance in Brazil,
only recommended for avid enthusiasts:
For 6% of a monthly minimum salary vivo offers up to 64 K/s.
Firstly, is there any provider in the world that offers this amazingly low connection speed?
Anyway, here in Alvorada, Boa Vista, Roraima I actually receive 7.1 K/s, maximum!
Let's imagine Mrs. Vivo shopping...
Salesman: Up to 64 hand-made chocolates for R$35.00.
Mrs. Vivo: Great. I'll take them.
Salesman: There you are, Lady.
Mrs. Vivo: Hey! I only got seven!
Salesman: Sucks, doesn't it and it's legal and I don't care and I don't need to explain. Next!
I once tried another vivo plan where the charge is R$59,00,
almost 10% of a monthly minimum salary.
However, the speed of the first 500 Mb each month is 1 Mbps.
Sounds great until we stop and think what 500 Mb means in real terms:
ten 5-minute low-quality youtube videos.
All my friends are watching dvd's and films and downloading whatever they want,
whenever they want, not just for 500 seconds, 8.33 minutes, a month!
Anyway, I checked the speed I was getting and it reached 145 K/s, maximum.
I then checked the connection software speed which read 1.2 M/s.
Lastly, when the bill arrived, it had a spurious, non-detailed R$8.00 additional charge. Naturally, this was eventually contested and a person at vivo agreed to remove it.
This has not been done.
vivo have approximately 60,000,000 [unhappy] customers in Brazil,
so back to some simple maths:
60,000,000 x R$8.00 = R$480,000,000 each month for nothing.
It's just setting up the computer to steal
(or is this done locally with a bonus for each person?)
Let's say that only 10% pay up: R$48,000,000.
If it were only 1%, it would still line vivo's coffers with nearly 5 million a month!
vivo is one of the top companies for complaints with the consumer association, PROCON.
I tried contacting our local Boa Vista leader, Pedro, via the e-mail shown on the PROCON, Roraima, homepage, email@example.com. It doesn't work! Try it!
I contacted Angela Portela, Senator, firstname.lastname@example.org. This works, though it appears she doesn't because I have never received a reply,
mechanical or otherwise.
My hope is that someone 'important' will read this and decide to do something about it.
Forlorn? I've just got the one.
Today, Friday, 18th January, 2013, I managed to download a 51 Mb youtube chess file, "Why Carson Wins" in 98 minutes!
I guess that's about 98 times longer than most of you guys are used to.
Obrigado vivo - Obrigado politicians.
Brazil does not like Brazilians.