Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TrackIt Overkill

KTN have been carrying a sensational three part series on car robberies, with a focus on Track-It. This is a company that installs tracking devices in cars to trace their location if reported as stolen and enable the car to be be recovered by either the company or police

For heavily stolen cars, tracking devices are recommended for owners. Some banks and insurance companies may even insist that they are installed as part of financial contracts. Fleet owners also appreciate using the devices which can assist in fleet management and monitoring

It’s a well researches story, they even obtained a list of alleged track-it customers including three members of parliament, who volunteered for their cars to be ripped apart and checked for the devices, which were apparently not found (KTN reported they found devices in just 50% of the cars they checked)

The saga has played out in an even more sordid as the managing director of that company was recorded on camera offering to bribe the journalists with about $12,000 after admitting it was true that his company had not installed tracking devices in some cars, despite charging their owners 45,000 ~ $560. The devices are small electronic units that are hidden, so that even car thieves won’t know

KTN have led with the story three nights in a row, Nairobi, but is it overkill? urely there are more pressing matters that can be covered in the news. The car theft story has led ahead of political and other events of the day.

Car theft is not a new thing; car jacking have been covered, bus passengers are robbed or terrorized, chopped up cars are fund in agricultural fields and industrial sheds every other week. To spin this story out of three prime time nights is over kill.

Also over looked in the story, and a fact alluded to by the embattled Trackit owner is business competition in the story in the business competition. The owners of the standard/KTN may also be linked to a rival company, industry leader - Cartrack. It would be unsual to KTN to acknopwlede a corporate link, but if thers’s one it should be stated. Maybe it would have been better if another media house e.g. NTV had broken this story, but I doubt if they would have made it a three day special.

e.g. Intel recently posted a query on @twitter on which of the two companies to subscribe to. But after this story is completed and based on the behavior of the Track it boss, that company is finished.


Career Point said...

I no longer watch KTN political news, not after the 2007 General Elections. KTN has made it its business to take a particular stand on issues instead of being objective. That's why we cant rule out business rivalry in this saga.
Funny enough these chaps are the best in business news!!

nikolas said...

thanks for the mention there.

this is a business of trust. they are quite finished.

the other thing you get is a much lower excess in case the car is stolen and not recovered in case you have the tracking unit certificate with your insurance policy.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the coverage does seem excessive. I initially attributed it to the media house wanting to milk the story for all it's worth but I now see there could be business reasons as well.

A question, is it not some form of crime not to have reported this to the police? the story is silent on this issue

pink m said...

When you state that the two (KTN and Car Track) are related, it does seem like they're out to finish Track It for sure.

That said, we need a proper consumer watch unit in Kenya. Unless these businessmen realise they can be named and shamed, they continue offering sub par services, because the risk to their business is almost zero.

KTN are too sensational all the same

PKW said...

When, if ever, did KTN give balanced news, for lack of better words?

Sahito said...

In any case, I'm happy they took a break from all the political hullabaloo. I'm honestly tired about hearing of Kibaki superceding his ministers despite promising to give them space to work and Raila complaining of not having a carpet rolled out for him wherever he went despite the economic status of the place he visited.

I've had enough of the politicians

Anonymous said...

Kalenjin Television Network KTN.........sums it all aup even from the "strategic director's" accent... i no longer watch their one sided politics of news. Is like they are the new KBC where one party's item dominate the whole news segment. shindwe kabisa

Anonymous said...

I think this goes to show the power of the media.. can Track IT survive? I hear that Track IT has a very posh office and are very good with customers. Its a shame that such good companies do place ethics and integrity at the top of the values..(giving bribes so to speak) I guess it all boils down to greedy

Andruid said...

I do not think there is any such thing as 'objective news'. But surely isn't it what the Media At 2009, with all its failing is supposed to resolve?

Where is the oversight body that will invset5igate the possibility that amedia organisation like standardgroup, is using its influence to further aome business interests o certainb competitors within an industry in the guise of 'breaking news'?

Maybe Nationmedia or Royalmedia are missing out on a scoop by not investigating the likns between Cartrack and KTN.

coldtusker said...

If the TrackIt guy is 'guilty' why has he not been arrested by the cops?

At the minimum, the MD should be questioned. The firm's survival is at stake... I would withdraw my service!

coldtusker said...

The over-kill is that the bloody ads for the story are LONGER than the actual story!!!

Anonymous said...

well well guys i think we are misssing the point here. whether its sensational business rivalry it does make what Tejan is doing right. Lets not downplay it by quoting the wrongs of ktn. but i feel you. we have heard so many wrongs its now become usual from goldenberg, elections, maize, oil scandal..they are just too its become common place

kachwanya said...

Why it was aired three days running is beyond commonsense. The fact is if the KTN's claims of some cars not being fitted with car tracking devices was true then we expected the car owners without the devices to complain openly and try to get their money back. Standard online reported yesterday that motorists jammed the offices of Track It to check if their cars are safe, well it seems all of them went away satisfied. I watched the whole thing and only saw one guy saying that his car was stolen and could not be found. There is no story here, it is all about competition: Check out

bankelele said...

Career Point: I watch KTN, though the opening monologue/editorial really irritates me. They have some good (biz) journalists there

Nikolas: karibu, Trackit it is finished. Though one of my mechanics mentioned another good company in the business (an alternative to Cartrack) – I think they are called ‘Strike’

Andruid & Pink M: IT community really pushing the CCK to act tough on shoddy service to communications users. But when you call for a ‘consumer watch unit’ or ‘media over-sight unit’, I fear the ever-growing government will create another huge redundant parastatal that will achieve nothing for consumers. Media already has two boards fighting for legitimacy

PKW: I still like their news, but Trackit was over-skinned

Sahito: True, we want more business and other economic news, but 2007/08 showed that you should not ignore politicians.

Coldtusker: I guess someone would have to file a complaint.

Kachwanya: Three days on loop is excessive, and the story was not even developing; it was already shot, edited, and chopped. Unlike NTV and the One-Jet-One and ‘fake’ Qatari investors, where there were new developments, worthy of topping the nightly news.

SupremeGREAM said...

Car Track is the oldest among the tracking companies. Sometimes back I was having a chat with a Car Track Sales Executive and asked why they didnt sue for the similarity in names when Track IT started, he says they didnt want to give them mileage.

Having dealt with cars for the last two years or so, I became a regular to the two companies. Whenever I sold a device I'd get a commission. None of these customers has ever complained. Last month one of my customers lost a Harrier and it was recovered in under 12 hours in Kikuyu. NTV aired the story.

The reason why KTN could not find the VLU device is because its installation is secret so that you do not disable it, then have the vehicle 'stollen'. Hence they cant claim not to have found the device because they do not even know what it looks like. A customer is also given the option to track the vehicle(s) in real time hence I dont see how they cannot install the device. If they do know what the device looks like and where it is installed, how about a disgruntled former employee?

Lately, all vehicles financed by Equity Bank had or have to be installed with the tracking device and specifically one from Track IT. Some insurance companies have also been insisting on the device on vehicles worth over a million.

For those who think Track It is done, I dont think so. Remember the NTV story on Langata Road motors which the current Kamukunji MP is or was a director? They are still running and doing very well after changing the company name. The story was aired for three days. Word has it that a politician and former MP of Mathioya 'owned' the land where Langata Rd Motors stands but it was grabbed from him after the proprietor learned that the politician had grabbed the land from KPLC. So in an attempt to finish MP, the son of the former MP dug some dirt and financed the story.

So when the rogue tracker was aired, I doubted its credibility. However damning it may be, its all about hitting below the belt. Sensationalism should not be taken for brilliance. They also added the hype by asking viewers to comment. I doubt how many of the commenters have cars let alone the VLU from Track IT. If you ever noticed, Track IT runs a simple advert at the back page of Daily or Sunday or Saturday Nation where they simply state where a car was stollen and the time. They then indicate where it was recovered and the time.

How they claim the Tejani bribed them looks like a set-up. Where they approach him and probably coerce him into offering one. They just played dirty on this one. The same way Keroche claims that EABL defaces their Bill board adverts and prevents bars from stocking Summit in EABL fridges.

Am not saying that they are 100% clean. Just pointing out how dirty some people can play.

Anonymous said...

ok guys

help me out here

why then is this company under receivership just one week after the expose

house built of cards?


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