When the share prices of PCCW plummeted all those years ago from a high of around $26 to a measly two bucks, it made instant paupers of many and with former aspiring wunderkind Richard Li shown to be the somewhat shambolic leader of a company many say was built on smoke and mirrors.


Some of us followed Little Richard from his highs as the “visionary” behind STARTV to PCCW and often swap stories of those years where a company with nothing going for it managed to lure so many into its Venus Flytrap.

As for being a “visionary”, and as the world knows by now- he wasn’t- but he did manage to sell that wok in the sky originally meant to be MTV Asia to a bedazzled Rupert Murdoch on the dreams of entering the China market.


Dear Rupert was setup and the doors slammed shut in his face when the Chinese authorities noticed that STARTV carried a channel called BBC. Still, the old boy had some good years married to Wendi “Ding Dong” Deng, who targeted Daddy Warbucks when she was working at STARTV. This is bloody movie material.


As for PCCW Netvigator, it plods along today as one of the most despised companies in Hong Kong. Its internet arm suffers from almost terminal breakdowns whereas its NOWTV channels with their constantly changing packages where each one comes with a catch to get customers to pay more, is a regular targeted in various Letters to the Editor columns.


But for reasons going back to various licenses given out, PCCW remains a necessary evil with a Take it, or Lump it attitude. Take its so-called 24-Hour Customer Hotline Service. We tried to get through to someone from 4am to 6am, but kept getting the same message: “All our lines are busy, so please stay on the line”. Like putzes, we obeyed while the phone rang and rang and rang before being cut off.

Our problem was that our emails were, suddenly, not coming through onto our iPhones. Apparently, suddenly, either our username or password were incorrect. Suddenly.

Giving up the 24 Hour Hotline, we, somehow- divine intervention?- managed to get through to an executive in the Mobile Phones Division. Alas, all he could do was call the 24 Hour Hotline- and, as now he revealed- “the lines are all busy.” His suggestion was to visit the Netvigator’s website, login and check all incoming mail. He was told as politely as possible that his suggestion stunk. His next suggestion was that his supervisor or someone from the 24 Hour Hotline Service will call. When? “After 9am when he starts work”, was the reply. What happened to the 24 Hour Hotline Service? Who knows? Up in cyberspace?Welcome to progress and the wacky world of PCCW Netvigator- and another bitter lemon from Richard Li.