In a move that is being described by many as “cynical” and “greedy“, the global corporations behind the world’s most popular video calling systems are set to introduce minimum charges.
NEWS of the NEWS understands that the shadowy companies behind the likes of Skype, FaceTime and Zoom held a series of virtual meetings two weeks ago during which they agreed to form a cartel that will control the availability of video calling facilities across the globe.
The news will come as a huge blow to the billions of users who, in the midst of a pandemic which has resulted in whole countries being locked down, rely on such systems to conduct business or to communicate with friends and family.
The soon to be introduced tariffs, which we understand will start at an eye-watering £10 per minute for domestic users and rise to £15 per minute for businesses, are likely to limit video calling to the wealthy and to companies that have no alternative but to pay.
Our reporters spoke to Caroline Mee, a Self-employed Digital Marketing Specialist from Penzance who, like many at the moment, is juggling caring for her children whilst working from home. “I’m totally gobsmacked by this”, she said. “I rely on video conferencing to hold meetings with both clients and staff. If I stop using video calling facilities then my clients will probably just move to one of the ‘big boys’ that can afford to pay these astronomical charges. I’m caught between the devil and the deep blue sea!”
Kyle Horton, an Architect from Folkstone, expressed similar fears. “If what you’re telling me is true then, based on what I did last week, I’d be spending over £14,000 a week on video calls. £14,000! I only turnover £100,000 a year, how can I afford that? The money grabbing tw*ts!”
Our reporters contacted the various companies that we are led to understand make up the newly created video conferencing cartel. They eventually responded with a joint statement saying that they “Categorically deny any suggestion that we have formed or intend to form a cartel or that we are proposing to introduce charges. Such allegations are sheer fantasy and we can only assume they have been invented by a so-called media organisation to form the basis of a satirical article or report.”
In response NEWS of the NEWS was quick to point out that as a result of them providing a ‘joint statement’ people were probably more likely to suspect the companies of some form of conspiracy. We clearly hit a nerve as we have not as yet received a response.