Our Terrible Story
Our Terrible Story
We ply our efforts to create large sums of money to donate to those who need it most
The vision of serial entrepreneur Albi Whale, Terrible Talk, is a telco that donates every cent of its profits to charity. Whale, who upon first meeting tells me; ‘I want to eradicate world poverty’, is an ambitious philanthropist with the good of humanity at heart. Many readers may feel bewildered by the gargantuan task he’s set himself but you have to be equally impressed with his audacity. Albi not only has the vision, he also has the resources to make a dent in his chosen mission.
“It may not happen in my lifetime but I want to make sure we start the wheels in motion. It’s pretty unconventional, to run a business for a twin purpose, not only to provide an awesome telecommunications service, but also to generate enough profit to give a substantial amount to charity."
For the most part, businesses try to give-a-little through fundraisers and charity events, which is fully commendable, yet the sole driver of Terrible Talk is philanthropy. Ironically, the name Terrible was coined when Albi Whale first tabled the idea. A board member responded with ‘that’s a terrible idea’ – and so Terrible was born out of objection and disbelief! Whale’s first venture into business came at a very young age. The tech guru had established a niche telecommunications company in the UK which was subsequently acquired by a large industry competitor, thus leaving Whale with capital to fund his greater goal of deploying business to fund those less fortunate. Using his telecommunications background, he tapped into the New Zealand internet and phone resources and founded Terrible Talk New Zealand and currently runs the operation from his Christchurch base with staff in Wellington. The majority of Terrible Talk’s staff are volunteers, helping the company work towards its global goal; ‘to end world poverty and inequality’. Terrible is, in essence, a large fundraiser but instead of sub-standard sausage sizzles, they sell a premium broadband and phone service at a reasonable price – and all profits are designated to charities like Oxfam instead of lining the pockets of overpaid executives. The concept really resonates, to do business for good.
Businesses aim to generate cash, generate profits yet those profits are generally fed back to ‘the money men’ who thrive off self- serving motives. The inequality of the world is often exemplified by corporate greed, taking more money than is required rather than to balance out the ever-widening gap. With the balance of the world in his sights, Whale is looking to tip a heavily one-sided Libra scale but he is adamant that a shift in consciousness is on the horizon; “We ply our efforts to create large sums of money to donate to those who need it most. We could have simply ran a ‘once in a while’ fundraising campaign like many businesses, but instead we took the hard road, to make it our full-time mission. It’s become more of a calling, which is funny as we’re a telco! We’re starting to see the effect of our work come to fruition, more people are becoming aware of Terrible Talk and understanding our motives for being in business."
Whale has a calling, not a job, not a spur of the moment fundraising attempt or a one-off handover of an oversized cheque in front of the media to glorify the business. A calling. But like any business, Terrible needs market traction; recognition and paying customers in order to fulfil its obligations to donate profits to charity. As the business-focused among us will recognise, profit isn’t immediately generated in a start-up business, it takes time and awareness, much of which boils down to marketing but instead of huge advertising campaigns, Terrible relies on spoken word and the general public’s adoption of their charitable business model. Motivated by using business for the greater good and pure dedication to the philanthropic mission, Whale is confident the ethos of Terrible will spread throughout New Zealand as customers recognise the benefits of switching to a company with a conscious.
“When a customer signs up to Terrible they can feel the rush of moral satisfaction with the small choice that they have made, that could make a big difference to someone less fortunate."
It really is a labour of love on Whale’s behalf, but at least he is a business owner with his heart in the right place and positive moral ethos aside, Terrible Talk as a telco are incredibly competitive. The company website and Facebook page list their ever-changing offers and attractive pricing plans.
“As a company, we have to be entirely functional to retain and please our valued customers, which in turn helps us work toward our greater goal of eradicating world poverty – well, laying the foundations to eradicate world poverty. Terrible, although the name contradicts, wants to be good in every aspect from provision of services to donation of profits."
In a world where businesses are exploit, outsource and take advantage of third world labour to post increased profits, here we have a company with a Machiavellian attitude seeking to reverse that trend entirely. Whale doesn’t agree that the rich and poor divide should be so dramatic and while most readers will nod their heads in polite agreement – he is actually taking action. He can’t do it alone, but a tribe of Terrible customers could certainly help.
Terrible Talk New Zealand is Governed and owned by Terrible New Zealand Charitable Trust, a registered charity with the New Zealand Charities Commission (registration CC50738).
About Terrible Talk New
Terrible Talk is the first provider in New Zealand, to provide Broadband and phone service exclusively to fund Charities to end “world poverty and inequality” The company’s fibre network – the result of multimillion dollar investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all NZ homes, with speeds of up to 200Mb, provided and maintained by multiple parties to ensure reliability and service consistency.
Terrible Talk has developed the most advanced interactive customer experience allowing everyone to be part of something greater than just a broadband provider. Terrible Talk NZ was the first New Zealand telco to allow customers direct access to both the CEO and Director General.
Terrible Talk is a part of Terrible Consolidated, a Federation of charities and non profits designed to create and manage innovative movements, campaigns, and business that funds global charities.