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Subject: Re: UKNM: RE: DIXONS - FREE SHARE
From: Steve Johnston
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 12:12:20 +0100

I've just come off the phone with John Beaumont, Planet's MD and Energis' Director of Strategy and Business Development, so from a horse's mouth (no offence John) here's an update.

Dixons and Planet were in conversation long before the Energis acquisition, which only completed last month. Clearly the partnership needed a carrier for the calls, and this has been a simple bit of good fortune. Energis are therefore providing the 0845 number.

The 1 Premium rate support line is to Dixons' existing Mastercare service courtesy of an existing C&W contract. I am told that Dixons ( and remember we are talking Dixons Group here - The Link, PC World, Currys and Dixons itself ) do not offer their Mastercare service, which they do across their product range, in the hope of creaming it in premium rate calls. If a call looks like it will be lengthy the caller is either called back or is given another number to ring.

So it comes back to the new Freeserve brand and portal development strategy, along with its model for advertising and e-commerce revenue, albeit with a roll out supported by a substantial - regardless what you think of it - retail network and existing marketing spend.

Also by not setting up the administrative hassle of servicing many thousands of customers and their small monthly transactions, I am told that a great deal of money is saved, well yes I suppose it is.

Hmm.. I know I'll give the connectivity a go, but I'm not sure I find the rest terribly compelling. As a consumer I was just about to look into BT Click, but this has come along instead to seriously challenge my long-term loyalty to Prestel. I have to say though that if it wasn't Planet I wouldn't be so interested.

Steve Johnston.

============= Previous posting from 22/9 ==========
Surely this whole project is an Energis brainwave.

I know Dixons claim ownership, but look at the numbers. Acquire Planet Online, Offer free internet access on Energis owned Local numbers to pick up the call charges. Offer up Planet Online tech support on a Premium Rate number, and bingo, it should pay for itself - who knows? I'd love to see the business plan. The portal stuff is probably a waste of money/PA's time - any PA comment please?


<knee jerk>The whole thing is brilliant. BT Click is a good idea, but Freeserve is new-generation Telco-thinking. Sock it to 'em.</knee jerk>

I'm picking up a CD from Dixons on The Strand at about 6.25pm - it closes at 6.30pm - see you there.

Steve.


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

On 22/09/98, at 15:20, Martin Reeves wrote:

>QAA03998
>Sender: owneratchinwag [dot] com
>Precedence: bulk
>Reply-To: uk-netmarketingatchinwag [dot] com
>
>>With Freeserve, users get:
>>FREE unlimited internet access
>
>The only catch I could find (and there had to be one!):
>'Helpdesk charges, 1 per minute!'
>
>BTW the URL is http://www.freeserve.net/
>
>Regards
>Martin
>
>
>
>
>----------------------------------------------------------
>FOCUS DIGITAL LIMITED http://www.focusdigital.co.uk/
>Internet Consultancy and high impact web design solutions.
>Martin Reeves, Managing Director Tel: +44 (0) 1889 576213
>----------------------------------------------------------


Steve Johnston
Director of Development
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group)

http://www.imrg.org/
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E-mail: steveatimrg [dot] org
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