Hutchison Whampoa

Big bank keeps tabs on gossip

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 12:00am

When it comes to gossiping about their bosses, there's nothing employees won't say.

Well. Except 'DBS'.

That's a banned word on the goss circuit.

The Singaporean bank's name has been blocked from appearing in cyber-conversations at corporate gossip site, a Bloomberg report tells us.

And the Icered gang has already wiped more than 200 bank-related messages out of existence.

All very Stalinesque.

Apparently bank hackles first rose a couple of months ago when the firm's Hong Kong employees posted some rather uncharitable comments about management at DBS' securities subsidiary.

Bloomberg says the bank responded by asking the Internet firm to pull the messages.

Not true, say the DBSers.

'We did ask them specifically to remove items which were transaction-related which were confidential,' spokesman Charles Newton told us from Singapore.

'But I am led to believe, by people that are there, that we made no specific request for Icered to take messages off the site.'

Mr Newton even went so far as to say the site was a good thing, providing the bank with a chance to monitor employee feedback.

Good idea. Saves companies the hassle of bugging the canteen.

Going for gold: The Olympiad is drawing nearer, and the excitement is building as competitors from around the world prepare to do battle - to push their skills to the outer limits.

But fear pursues excitement. And nightmares pursue fear.

You know the kind.

You're a finalist, and the contest is almost over.

A hush falls over the crowd.

It seems as though nothing can block your path to gold medal glory - when suddenly you look down and realise you're trapped. You can't get rid of the Q, X or Z.

Yes, there's no nightmare quite like a scrabble nightmare.

Oh. Did we forget to mention that we meant the Singapore Olympiad, rather than the Sydney one?

The city-state is playing host to the Mind Sports Olympiad.

Up to 5,000 super nerds are expected to vie for gold, silver and bronze medals in the fields of scrabble, bridge, computer games, draughts, chess and the ultimate pentaquiz.

Lai See's not going though.

She hates mind games.

Staying mobile: Lai See loves a bargain. Which is why we're thinking of ditching our Hutchison Telecom service.

No, not because another mobile-phone firm has a great deal on. Because Hutchison has a great deal.

Puzzled? So were we. The telecom logic puzzle goes something like this:

In the latest bid to lure cell-phone users away from the competition, they have cut monthly fees in half, good for 12 months.

Excellent, thought Lai See. That must mean loyal customers are rewarded with similar savings right?


Long-time users continue to dole out double what the new arrivals are paying.

Where's the logic in penalising loyalty?

'Sorry, it's company policy which I don't even agree with,' was the response from a disarmingly honest sales staffer.

But he said he was offering this advice to all long-term clients: 'Switch to another operator for a week or a month, then come back - then we can put you on to the special package, saving you a lot of money.'

So it looks as though nomadic Hutchison clients are going to be moving around a lot. Strange strategy.

Perhaps someone in promotions misunderstood when asked to ensure that Hutchison had more mobile customers.

Graphic: whee15gbz