International -- Readers Report
AOL Latin America: Off to a Strong Start (int'l edition)
"Empire-building: The slow track" (Latin America, Sept. 4) blows out of proportion the small and normal operating problems that America Online Latin America has faced in Brazil during the launch of its service there. The article points to "faulty" software CDs and "embarrassing" missteps.
We have not delivered a single piece of faulty software. One of AOL Brazil's providers mistakenly mislabeled 488 CDs that contained music with the AOL software. While we do not know the exact number of CDs that were actually shipped, we are only aware of two consumers who attempted to install the CD. These two customers received immediate attention from AOL Brazil's member-services group and are currently subscribers of AOL. In fact, 488 CDs represents less than 0.004% of the CDs we have distributed in Brazil.
AOL Latin America is off to a strong start, having launched in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina in only nine months. In just over 50 days after launching in Mexico and Argentina, the company has more than doubled its member base to 250,000 members, and subscriber growth is beating internal and external estimates. The company has also grown consistently in number of advertisers, content partners, employees, and every relevant operating metric.
With respect to the claim that it will take long before the Cisneros Group sees a return on its AOL Latin America investment, our two partners have shown a high degree of satisfaction given that the company has met all of its goals, has provided its investors with healthy returns, and continues to present exciting growth prospects.
of Corporate Development
America Online Latin America
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Return to top
Directors Have Lost Their Pay-For-Performance Focus (int'l edition)
It disgusts me to learn that a CEO has left a company with a grossly excessive compensation package for a period in which the business during his/her tenure has dramatically declined in value ("CEO pay: Nothing succeeds like failure," American News, Sept. 11).
The blame for this rests with boards of directors that sign off on CEO compensation packages without a pay-for-performance focus. The situation perpetuates itself as we see "fired" CEOs, with sacks full of severance money, asked to join the boards of directors of other companies.
Aberdeen, BritainReturn to top
Customer Satisfaction Depends on More Than Speed (int'l edition)
Can "Compaq's rockin' boss" (Cover Story, Sept. 4) Michael Capellas rock the computer world? I doubt it. Even in the e-business/Web era, the customer should be the focal point. Customer satisfaction should not be limited to how fast Compaq Computer Corp. delivers a product but should also focus on what happens before and after the product is delivered. Product reliability, repairability, and personnel courtesy are some elements that create or destroy value and customer satisfaction. As an ex-Compaq customer, I speak from experience.
AthensReturn to top