Things that Starbucks doesn’t want you to know!

starbucks dca

I’ve recently read “The Undercover Economist” by Tim Harford that really blew my mind and changed that way i see things when i go for shopping at a local super market or even get my morning coffee from Starbucks.

Starbucks isn’t merely seeking to offer a verity of alternatives to customers. It’s also trying to give the customer every opportunity to signal that they’ve not been looking at the price. It doesn’t cost much more to make the cup bigger or add some whipped cream. Every single product on the menu costs starbucks almost the same to produce. By charging widely different prices for products that have the same cost starbucks is able to smoke out customers who are less sensetive about the price.

Do you know that apart from the Tall, Grande and Venti cappuccino, Starbucks has an invisible size which is not only cheaper but actually tastes better? Meet the invisible:

The Short Cappuccino

starbucks short cappuccino

That’s the best Cappuccino (or Latte) that Starbucks actually have, its stronger, and has a better foam milk froth which you can’t actually get in larger sizes with more amounts of milk and it is cheaper! You can order your short Cappuccino at ANY Starbucks WORLDWIDE, and without an eye blink, they will get your order! Although it is never published on their menu board or even their website.

I just wanted to make sure how true is this story, i ordered one from Startbucks in kadıköy – Istanbul. The guys and the cashier definitely know what a Short cappuccino is, they got a paper cup which was hidden somehwere such that the customers can’t see, it is a third smaller than the tall but it actually tastes much better.

The Short Cappucino price is 5.50 TL, as the 6.00 TL for Tall, 6.75 TL for Grande and 8.00 TL for Venti which gives you around 200 calories before you add sugar.

The interesting part is the they did not sing my order like the Baristas always do when they take your order, they just don’t want people to hear about it!


Why i will never buy from Souq or Jumia again

I’m sure that you’ve seen Souq and Jumia ads everywhere, whether you are on Facebook or on any website i’m sure you came across their ads which contains some amazing offers with HUGE discounts. There is also a big probability that you already receive their daily newsletters with their special offers and deals.

I have to say that these guys are doing very well in terms of online marketing, their customer service is also good not great. However, they are a disaster when it comes to their core business, the products they are offering in terms of quality and pricing.

I’ve been strongly hit by Jumia in terms of pricing, yes, they are very expensive, much more expensive than average market price, on the other hand souq have pretty good prices but many of the products are not authentic, they are just cheap or moderate copies of the original products.

Here is my experience with Jumia, i bought a Roller travel laptop case, a huge one that fits in lots of stuff plus a 17″ notebook for 750 LE. When i opened it i found the REAL price tag, 660 LE… This this is probably the real market prices as everybody know that jumia is already over priced.

Jumia - Rolling travel laptop case real market price

Jumia – Rolling travel laptop case real market price

I complained to their customer service, and just got back a reply offering me a 100 LE voucher when  i spend 300 LE on Jumia, they didn’t even bother themselves explaining the reason of what happened to me. Having escalated that issue to the management, they were very professional, they investigated that issues and got back to me saying:

Dear customer,

I want to personally apologize on the behalf of the whole Jumia team.

This gives you a very poor experience and I completely take the responsibility for it.

The price tag that you saw is different the the purchase price because it is the price for which we got the item from our supplier. This is not the retail price but a price negotiated with our supplier that is lower than the retail price. This is a special price from a supplier to a retailer (Jumia). On this price we have a margin which accounts for the difference of price.

However, I totally accept the responsibility for your bad customer experience. At Jumia we are working everyday to provide our customers with the best experience possible and in your case we obviously failed. I am deeply sorry for this.

As a compensation, please accept a 100EGP voucher with no minimum purchase: XXXXX

I hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you better.


Head of Operations

I find their response very professional. In the second time not the first.

On the other hand my issue with Souq was not the price but rather the quality, Got a newsletter promoting Armani’s classic Acqua di Gio with a 25% discount so i decided to buy it choosing COD payment method, next day i got it, i was amazed about the fast service, i got my package with Aramex paid the amount in cash and this is what i found when i opened it

This is how the perfume i got from Souq looked like!! Terrible!

This is how the perfume i got from Souq looked like!! Terrible!

To begin with, this was the WRONG perfume, it was Aramni code 75 ML not Armani Acqua di Gio 100 ML. The package looked aweful, it looked old and had some wrinkles, and the plastic wrap was torn from the top, it seems somebody used it before. Actually when i saw this i understood this can’t be an original perfume so i wanted to make sure so i opened the box from the top and tried the perfume which was just like water and alcohol, a very cheap replica that you can buy for 20 LE not 500 LE.

So i made a complain, Souq sent somebody a few days later to pick it up, they will inspect the item and the return my money back in about 5 business days. The money should be available in my Souq account and then i can withdraw it or do a bank transfer to my bank account. They also said that the additional 15 LE for shipping and COD fees will be returned to me as well.

Long story short, the customer service of both Jumia and Souq were actually good. They responded to my queries within reasonable time and with reasonable answer.

The bottom line here, i’m never buying form Souq or Jumia again, i expect the problem to be repeated again, they have done nothing to prevent these kinds of issues from recurring, they only provided a remedy for me.

The funniest search in Egypt – أغرب حاجات الناس بندور عليها على يلوبيدجز

فى يلوبيدجز دائماً نبحث عن تقديم أفضل تجربة بحث ممكنة للمستخدم و أستطعنا تحقيق ذلك بالفعل من خلال قاعدة بيناتنا المليئة بالمعلومات عن أكثر من 300 ألف شركة فى مصر و كذلك من خلال تطوير محرك بحثنا المحلى الذى أصبح أقوى و أسرع كثيرأً اليوم عن ما كان عليه سابقاً.

بالرغم من كل ذلك تظل مشكلتنا الأساسية هى المستخدم الذى لا يعرف كيف يستخدم محرك بحثنا و يظن فى بعض الأحيان أنه يبحث فى جوجل و فى أحيان أخرى أنه يتحدث مع صديقة و يطلب من المعلومة.

خلينا نشوف مع بعض الناس بتدور على أيه فى يلوبيدجز – محرك البحث المحلى الأول فى مصر

1 2 3 4 5 6

أنا عايز أخد فيزا بتاعت أوكرانيا

أنا عايز أخد فيزا بتاعت أوكرانيا

اسماء المسافرين رحلة العمرة مولدالنبى 20 يناير 2013

اسماء المسافرين رحلة العمرة مولدالنبى 20 يناير 2013

عايز أشتغل فى أكاديمية باباى

عايز أشتغل فى أكاديمية باباى

امبابة البصراوى

امبابة البصراوى

نتيجة الشهادة الاعدادية بمدرسة 25 يناير بدمياط الجديدة بالدرجات

نتيجة الشهادة الاعدادية بمدرسة 25 يناير بدمياط الجديدة بالدرجات

طريقة عمل كيك بالشيكولاتة

طريقة عمل كيك بالشيكولاتة

Finally my all time favorite

الرقم الضريبى للدكتور باسم يوسف

الرقم الضريبى للدكتور باسم يوسف

Emokhalfa Takes on Cairo’s Traffic with New Violation Reporting App

Read the full article here

My first Wamda piece about the new startup Emokhalfa

جوجل تتنبأ بنتائج الأنتخابات الرئاسية المصرية: أبو الفتوح فى المقدمة و ينزل الأعادة مع شفيق


د. عبد المنعم أبو الفتوح فى مقدمة الجولة الأولى للأنتخبات الرئاسية المصرية يليه الفريق أحمد شفيق لينزلا معاً فى الأعادة حيث لم يحصل أى منهما على أكثر من 50% من أصوات الناخبين فى مصر. وبفارق كبير عن شفيق يأتى د. محمد مرسى يليه كل من عمرو موسى و حمدين صباحى.

المركز الأول:

د. عبد المنعم أبو الفتوح

المركز الثانى:

الفريق أحمد شفيق

المركز الثالث

د. محمد مرسى

المركز الرابع:

عمرو موسى

المركز الخامس:

حامدين صباحى

كل ذلك ليس من التكهنات ولا مبنى على نتائج أستطلاعات الرأى ولكن هذا ما توضحه أدوات جوجل للبحث Google Trends و Google Insights for Search الذى يعكس أهتمام الناس بالبحث و متابعة أخبار المرشحين الرئاسيين.

Google Insights ُfor Search: Egyptian Presidential Elections

منذ منتصف أبريل 2012 و حتى اليوم (منتصف مايو) نستطيع أن نرى حفاظ أبو الفتوح على التقدم معظم الأوقات ألا أن شفيق يداعبه فى بعض الأوقات و خاصة بعد قرار القضاء بالسماح له بالمشاركة فى الأنتخابات. كانت المفاجأة هى تقدم شفيق على مرسى فى معظم الأوقات بالرغم من المسيرات و الأغاتى الخاصة بمرسى ولكن يبدوا أن حزب الكنبة لا يستهان بقوته.

يبدو لوهلة بأن الجميع كان قد نسى تماماً وجود عمرو موسى و حمدين صباحى حتى بداية شهر مايو والذى شهد ثباتاً لأبو الفتوح مع أرتفاع سريع لصباحى و أرتفاع طفيف لموسى.

ثم كانت المناظرة التلفزيونية بين أبو الفتوح و موسى و التى قلبت الموازين حيث زاد الأهتمام بكلاهما للقفز فى المقدمة و لكنه كان أيضاً سبباً فى زيادة أسهم صباحى بشكل ملحوظ معهما لمن لم يقتنع بأى من المرشحين بعد المناظرة.

Google Trends: Egypt Presidential Elections

لم تختلف النوقعات كثيراً فى Google Trends… حيث أصبح بعد المناظرة أبو الفتوح و موسى فى القمة يلاحقهما شفيق وثم الحصان الأسود صباحى يحاول صنع مفاجأة و بقى مرسى فى القاع.

Google Trends: Presidential Elections Demographics

المثير للأهتمام هى تأييد المرشحين حسب التوزيع الجغرافى، حيث يفضل المصريين فى السعودية  المرشح الأسلامى بين أبو الفتوح و مرسى قبل شفيق و موسى بينما لا يوجد أهتمام بصباحى.

أما فى الكويت فيفضل المرشحين كل من أبو الفتوح و شفيق.

أما فى مصر فالترتيب متسق مع النتائج المتوقعة ألا أنه فى بعض مدن الوجه البحرى و الدلتا فيزيد الأهتمام بصباحى على حساب موسى و لكن يبقى أبو الفتوح فى المقدمة ويليه شفيق.

ماذا تعتقد؟ هل تعتقد أن تلك الأحصائيات و التحاليل هى مؤشر يمثل الواقع أم أن هناك مفاجأت لا يعلمها أحد؟


Top 10 Myths That Egyptians Believe

There is a set of beliefs that we were raised on, the idea was usually thrown on our way by our parents and it was heavily supported and enforced by our friends, colleagues, relatives and the society in general…

Although time passes one year after another, we gain new experiences in life, it seems that we will never get rid of these ideas but my only hope is that we stop passing them to the newer generations at least not to spread the infection 🙂

Myth #10: Turn off your car headlights

Myth #10: Turn off your car headlights

Here is my list:

Tip #10: Turn off your car head lights

When there is lighting in the street, there is no need to turn on your head lights, you should switch them off and save your car battery, turning on the lights is bad for your car battery.

Tip #9:  A/C are made to turn them on 16 degrees / full fan

Summer is hot, to overcome the hotness, when you turn on the A/C make sure it is 16 degrees, to have a quick effect, you can leave it like this or you can witch it to 18 degree after a while… Make sure you have a blanket and a jacket to use… of course if you are a tough guy you won’t need the jacket.

Tip #8:  When a car comes in the opposite direction turn off your head lights

Driving is “Art, Morals, and Consideration”, when you see a car coming in the opposite direction switch off your lights, if the other driver doesn’t respond by doing the same abiding to this protocol , give him a warning sign by flashing your strong lights 3 to 4 times, if no response is seen, you are allowed to punish the driver by turning on your head lights again

Tip #7:  Take off your socks before sleeping, to save your eyes

If you sleep with a socks, your eyes will hurt you next day.

Tip #6:  When you’re sick drink lots of liquids

Although this is a true medical fact, why does we get it from everyone we see when we have a cold? is it to show compassion? Not sure about you but I would accept something like “get well soon”…

Tip #5: Gym advice, you are doing this exercise in the wrong way

Probably you’ve been going to gym for many years, but just try changing your gym, do the same excise in front of the new trainer or the guy that loves to give advices to everyone because he a has a 150 KG muscles body…. They will tell you that you’re doing it in a wrong way.

Tip #4: Turning on you’re lights before it’s completely dark (15 minutes to dawn for example) is a disgrace 

Again this is my favorite thing, people will warn you, in order to save your battery, they will signal with their hands, talk / shout to you, and/or try to chase you in order to warn you that the most valuable thing you have in your life – the car battery – is in risk.

Tip #3: El fouta el zefra (a piece of cloth wet with gas ) will just clean your car in seconds.

if you don’t know it melts you car paint slowly so it becomes blurry and loses its shine after a while.

Tip #2: Breakfast (Optional) 12-1 PM, Lunch 4-6 PM, Dinner (Mandatory) 10-2 AM

This is a pretty good advice to gain weight as fast as you can.

Tip #1: It is okay to smoke hash but it is haram to drink alcohol

Seriously, some people genuinely believe about this…

Scratch free car for 30 days in Cairo: Successful

Believe it or not i have completed my 30 days challenge of having my car scratch-free in Cairo!!! yessssssssssss!!

To be completely honest my car does have some fine scratches from the car washing machines and from the door man who some times use a dirty towel to clean my car in the morning… but i am talking about fine scratches like this:

fine car scratches

This kind of scratches are only visible under high lighting but don’t get me wrong the above image is not actually for my car and the scratches are not that intense but i just wanted to give an idea about what the fine scratches are… Don’t you agree with me that every car in Cairo will eventually have these scratches, even if you buy a nice KIA Cerato – The new Egyptians favorite, you’re gonna have a bunch of these very soon.

I am not talking about a kind of these scratches though:

This scratch is becoming like an Egyptian trademark on almost 98% of cars in Egypt with the exception of some S and E class Mercedes and 5 and 7 series BMWs!

Does anyone have recommendations about removing / polishing the fine scratches?

30 Days Challenge: Scratchless Car

One thing that is unique about Cairo is the traffic and the cars, it is generally okay for you to get too close to the other cars in the street event to touch them without too much impact which people call a “kiss”. It is also a common scene to see a car which hits the other car in front of it, and neither of them stop or want to stop, may be a few seconds both of them freeze and then they start moving again.

This explains why there is no car in Cairo that don’t have marks, scratches, and even a bumpy body!

So my new 30 days challenge is to keep my car scratchless for the next 30 days. It cost me three thousand pounds and 2 weeks to have my car repainted and i wanna enjoy this feeling for a while before i start to have the Egyptian style carvings on it.

So my plan is as follows:

1. Change my driving style and keeping more distance from cars.

2. Being careful but not too careful otherwise other drivers will be angry with me and will hit my ca on purpose!

3. Got a car cover that i will use during work hours, at least i will prevent the car from artists that want to draw long lasting pictures on my car with their keys and sharp objects.

4. Avoid going by car to places where i know i will not find a parking spot, like Mosadak street in Dokki or road 105 in Maadi! The more taxis i use the safer my car will be 😉

well that’s all. I just hope i can make it… Not easy but possible…

Telecom Egypt Phone Bills Prizes, why?

It does not take a marketing expert to know that the advertising campaign by Telecom Egypt is pretty much “weired”. They are offering prizes if you pay your bill on time! Is it some kind of fast cash grab or aiming to  increasing loyalty of the customers? I don’t think it is the second one, i would only be loyal to a Telco company if they include me in a point collection program, which they don’t have.

Surprisingly enough, it seems that the campaign worked,  the reason i know this is that their online bill inquiry service could not handle all the incoming requests. It has been down for almost 1 week.

Telecom Egypt bill inquiry service down

Telecom Egypt bill inquiry service down

Now if you try to hit their website, you get this error message:

Telecom Egypt bill inquiry service still down

Telecom Egypt bill inquiry service still down