Two days ago, I wrote about a terrific effort to help people in the Ivory Coast by convincing mobile phone operators to offer free services to citizens there who aren’t able to top up their phones.
Professor Laura Seay, who’s helped organize the effort, reported some excellent news today. Orange CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire announced that they’d be giving credit of 2000 CFA (a little under $5) to all customers, a week of free calls to a landline number of their choice or an Orange number and a week of free Internet access. Most touchingly, they closed their announcement (posted to their Facebook wall) with this statement:
Par ces gestes de solidaritÃ©, Orange CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire et CÃ´te dâ€™ivoire Telecom apportent leur soutien Ã tous leurs clients pour leur permettre de garder le lien avec leurs proches en ces moments difficiles.
(Rough translation: With these acts of solidarity, Orange CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire is providing support to all their customers to help them stay connected with loved ones during this difficult time.)
Big, big props to Orange for doing the right thing. If you’d like to send them a thank-you note, please do so here.
Orange’s actions are a great example of what responsible companies can do in moments of crisis. Here’s hoping that other operators in the Ivory Coast will follow their lead, and that when crises emerge in other countries, companies will look to the excellent example Orange has set.
Update – MTN Cote d’Ivoire has joined in as well and is offering free internet access and top up to customers. Great to see two of the three operators in the country taking steps to help their customers get through this difficult time.