• David Knights

Don’t let the incumbent old-style telco carriers “FUD” you and your business

With the continuing deployment of the Federal Government National Broadband Network, we are hearing more and more from our clients about the increasing usage of the age-old practice of utilising Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt/Disinformation (FUD) by the old incumbent monopolistic telco carriers to attempt to retain their market share.

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt/disinformation (often shortened to FUD) is a disinformation strategy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics, cults, and propaganda.

FUD is generally a strategy to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information and a manifestation of the appeal to fear.

FUD was first used with its common current technology-related meaning by Gene Amdahl in 1975, after he left IBM to found his own company, Amdahl Corp.: "FUD is the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that IBM sales people instill in the minds of potential customers who might be considering Amdahl products."

The idea, of course, was to persuade buyers to go with safe IBM gear rather than with competitors' equipment. This implicit coercion was traditionally accomplished by promising that Good Things would happen to people who stuck with IBM, but Dark Shadows loomed over the future of competitors' equipment or software.

After 1991, the term has become generalised to refer to any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon.

By spreading questionable information about the drawbacks of less well-known products, an established company can discourage decision-makers from choosing those products over its own, regardless of the relative technical merits.

This is a recognised phenomenon, epitomised by the traditional axiom of purchasing agents that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment". The aim is to have IT departments buy software they know to be technically inferior because upper management is more likely to recognise the brand.

This is now a widely accepted selling technique used by many of the telco companies to ensure customers do not look at other options for their services. If you feel that your current telco is utilising FUD, please contact us.

CDK Telecommunications are an official nbnTM Business Accredited Adviser and can work with you to clarify your choices.

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