Saudi Arabian government departments getting better at responding to ‘Contact Us’ enquiries

Just one click on the “Contact Us” button on government departmental websites, and an alert staff member will reply promptly with the information. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 February 2018
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Saudi Arabian government departments getting better at responding to ‘Contact Us’ enquiries

JEDDAH: Few things are more reassuring to the general public than the knowledge that government departments are responsive to their needs. Just one click on the “Contact Us” button on their website, and an alert staff member will reply promptly with the information you require organizations with simple and easily answered queries, and gave them eight working days to respond.
Only four did so — the Civil Service Ministry, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, King Fahd National Library and the National Center for Assessment. They replied to queries about job applications, the Currency Museum, electronic books and research studies.

However organizations not yet on the scheme include Al-Majmaah University; Facilities Security Forces; King Fahd Security College; Saudi Post and the Shoura Council.
There was also silence from the King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Qur’an, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, the Institute of Public Administration, Hail University, the Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association, the Equestrian Club, Metrology and Quality Organization and the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants.
Many organizations use “Contact Us” buttons on their websites to simplify communication, reduce spam emails and the risk of hacking, and build a useful database of users.
They usually respond instantly with an automated reply confirming that the request has been received and is being dealt with, often with a ticket number to simplify further communication.


Apple details new magazine, news app at services event

Updated 25 March 2019
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Apple details new magazine, news app at services event

  • The new video service is expected to have original TV and movies
  • Apple is pushing digital subscriptions as it searches for new profit growth

CUPERTINO, California: Apple lifted the curtain on Monday on a television and movie streaming service that will allow users of its 1.4 billion gadgets worldwide to stream television shows and movies, both Apple originals and those from other creators, in a first step to challenge streaming video leaders Netflix and Amazon.

The launch was the centerpiece of an event at Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters that focused on the technology company's services, not its hardware, as it deals with declining sales of its iPhone.

Apple also introduced updates to its payment system, launched a games arcade, and added magazines to its news app.

Hollywood celebrities trekked to Apple's home to help debut a revamped Apple TV digital storefront, called Apple TV+. Apple has commissioned programming from Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.

Apple's jump into original entertainment signals a fundamental shift in its business as sales of hardware money-makers drop off. Without another category-defining new gadget announced to the public, Apple is looking to rely more on selling subscriptions and services like video, music and hardware insurance.

Throughout their presentation, Apple executives stressed privacy protections for consumers as they shop and consume content across a range of Apple phones, iPads or other hardware. They also emphasized content that would appeal to young audiences, potentially setting the stage for a rivalry with Walt Disney.

The company led off the event with an announcement that its free news app will now come in a paid-subscription version, called Apple News+, which curates a range of news articles and will include 300 magazines including National Geographic, People, Popular Science, Billboard and the New Yorker. Apple said it would cost $9.99 a month.

Apple also introduced a titanium, laser-etched Apple Card backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Mastercard Inc that can track spending across devices and pay daily cash back on purchases.

Cook also said Apple Pay, its digital wallet, will soon be usable on public transit systems in Portland, Oregon, Chicago and New York City. Apple Pay will be available in more than 40 countries by the end of the year.

With its new media push, Apple joins a crowded field where rivals such as Amazon.com's Prime Video and Netflix Inc have spent heavily to capture viewer attention and dollars with award-winning series and films.

The big tech war for viewers ignited a consolidation wave among traditional media companies preparing to join the fray. Walt Disney Co, which bought 21st Century Fox, and AT&T Inc, which purchased Time Warner Inc, plan to launch or test new streaming video services this year.

Revenue from its "services" segment - which includes the App Store, iCloud and content businesses such as Apple Music - grew 24 percent to $37.1 billion in fiscal 2018. The segment accounted for only about 14 percent of Apple's overall $265.6 billion in revenue, but investors have pinned their hopes for growth on the segment.

The company also introduced Apple Arcade, a game subscription service that will work on phones, tablets and desktop computers and include games from a range of developers.

Apple shares were down about 1 percent after about an hour of presentations at the event, which was broadcast online.