Portugal Telecom’s new chief 'to put customers first'

ptArmando Almeida replaced Zeinal Bava at the helm of Portugal Telecom on August 18th this year and is promising great things in a company where he aims to change the culture and become focused on the customer.

Zeinal Bava skipped off to Oi in Brazil as soon as the storm broke about PT’s massive loan to Espirito Santo’s Rioforte, a loan which the Rioforte failed to repay as it scuttled off under the safety of the protection of Luxembourg's legal system.

Almeida today said today that he has identified three priority areas for PT's future - the client, finances and the corporate culture.

"I will make a presentation of my plan within 100 days. I currently am visiting all parts of PT. There are three important areas for any leader: customers, the financial part and the culture within the company" said Almeida.

The head of Portugal Telecom declared that the company "has to have the customer as number one."

This revelation will be a great comfort to existing customers whose experience with the monopoly telecoms supplier to date has been characterised by frustration, deliberate confustication, rudeness, an inability to solve simple problems, an internal complaints procedure designed to belittle and confuse customers who simply want a service that works at a competitive price.

The desire from PT customers for a billing system that from time to time runs parallel with reality, rather than one veering off into uncharted galactic territory, is high on the wish list.

Finance is another priority for Armando Almeida, who is faced with a dark void in the accounts where €900 million of shareholders' cash should be sitting. In 100 days we may hear how he will replace this money.

"PT to be a strong company needs to continue to invest in Portugal and the country needs Portugal Telecom because it is a leader, not only in telecommunications, but in many other areas" said Almeida who appears to have little experience of the public’s perception of and attitude towards probably the nation's most reviled telecoms supplier.

Almeida does have a place in his heart for Portugal’s small and medium enterprises which are to receive his special attention, "SMEs currently are undergoing a very difficult phase and I think it is necessary to help them. They will have a fundamental role in PT" said the company leader, noting that "more than 95% of companies in Portugal are SMEs" and that "they have many employees."

"We need them," he concluded, reversing years of the more prevalent PT corporate attitude of “who needs them...?”

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+2 #4 chiptheduck 2014-09-20 10:49
Putting customers first. What a revolutionary idea!

And to those who think that the EU should be breaking the monopoly. The EU is corrupt, ineffective and bloody dangerous. There is not a single chance they will do anything useful.
+4 #3 kAREL 2014-09-19 17:51
What's the problem ? I settled in Portugal 12 years ago
and of course I asked for a telephone connection with PT.
After having waited 3 months we finally got a connection but neither the fax or the remote tel worked. PT told me "that's normal as it is not PT licensed material" . Four weeks later I cancelled the PT contract and for 11 1/2 years I am a happy and very satisfied user of Vodafone's services. Therefore my question: what's the problem ???
+5 #2 Geoff. 2014-09-19 09:36
Has this guy made any mention of lettingBreaking up PT's monopoly ?

As often said already, the main reason for setting up the EU.

So much of Portugal is 'radio rental' to the average Brit - who has seen the UK open itself to all sorts of telecoms providers.

The only requirement being that they behave. Not hand their profits over to dodgy banks ... but then, in a more open market these PT profits would be that much less and PT would be trying that much harder!
+4 #1 Eddy 2014-09-19 07:50
The fundamental issue here is that we have an illegal monopoly telecoms supplier !

Which the EU has specifically outlawed ! And which, Portugal has kept a monopoly over the years through every trick in the book.

Most obviously fragmenting into divisions that allegedly compete with each other !

Which - in the absence of genuine competition and alternatives, usefully soak up the customers. So any new player, seeing that most customers are tied into long contracts and have complicated switching costs - looks elsewhere.

Ref: switching costs - how many thousands of us have had that bizarre pantomime of a discussion with 'someone' at head office to 'justify' why we want to leave PT's service ? As though we are doing something wrong and need better advice !!!

So will Armando Almeida get rid of this remnant of Salazarism ?

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