Jordan’s Blogosphere

Amman, Jordan

I don’t know if I count as part of the Jordanian blogosphere, or if Emily does, but we’re definitely participating in the same community as Nas, Kinzi, Jad and many others who are legitimate permanent residents of both Jordan and the Jordanian blogosphere. But I’m interested nonetheless in supporting the latest move at the Black Iris:

Consider it an experiment in Jordanian social media. People are constantly asking me whether Jordanian bloggers have an impact on politics in Jordan – and I always say probably not. But let’s see if we, as customers and as citizens, can use blogs and social media to impact the private sector.

Black Iris

What’s all the uproar about? It’s about the lifeblood of any blogosphere: Internet access. Nas is blogging about Orange Jordan, his service provider, which he feels is the worst offender. I’m responding to his suggestion, however, for Jordanian bloggers to broadcast their bad experiences with all of Jordan’s service providers, to give an example of my own.

My provider is Wi-Tribe, apparently a rather recent addition to the fray, with wireless service in Sweifieh and Abdoun. Initially, I was very pleased with my service. We got a 2GB connection at what seemed like a reasonable price once split between myself and 2 roommates, and were generally happy with the speed and quality of the connection. On the one occasion that we exceeded our 13GB/month download quota, a phone call to customer service got our quota reset for the month at no additional cost. My only complaint at the time was that, although I had “pressed 1 for English,” the customer service rep answered all my questions (asked in English) in Arabic. Thankfully, my Arabic’s pretty good.

So, when I went to pay my bill a few months back and was told that if I signed a 1-year contract, I could pay 33% less for 50% more bandwidth, I readily agreed! But just like Nas on his Orange service, over the past month or more, we have averaged about 20% of the promised connection capacity.

Not only that, but there’s been a significant fall-off in customer service. My roommate called to find out why the connection was so slow, and was told that they could only speak to me about our Internet connection. So I went yesterday at 4:30pm to pay our bill, get my roommate added to the account, and complain about our service, but the office wasn’t open. Okay, I thought, it is Ramadan, and our company closes down at 3:00 (except for us teachers), so I’ll just have to come back in the morning. When I arrived at quarter past 9 this morning, however, the office was also closed. And, typically for Jordan, no indication anywhere in sight of their hours, in Ramadan or otherwise.

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