[transport-communications] Traffic Alert Service Offered in UK
- NatWest UK issued a news release a few days ago announcing a new service they
are going to be providing called "Zenda." One of the services offered will be
traffic information. As mentioned in the release there is a monthly charge of
If any of our subscribers in the UK have more information, please send it
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Trial of new service to make sense of the information overload (26 August
Finding the information you want from telephone helplines, guidebooks,
listings, directories, the internet and so on can be a time-consuming and
costly nightmare. A new personalised information service from NatWest promises
to take the hassle out of your hands by offering a 'one-stop shop' that will
search out the information for you, and only give you the details you're
Provisionally called Zenda, the information supplied by the service comes from
a wide variety of experts, from the AA to the Financial Times. This means
users can find out many different things through just one unbiased point of
The first stage of the Zenda trial, which will last for six months, will help
people manage their personal, everyday information needs and remind them of
key dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. If the initial trial is
successful, Zenda could be developed to take the spadework out of managing key
life events such as organising a wedding, moving house, looking for a new job
or finding the perfect holiday.
How to use Zenda - you choose
Zenda's users - who don't have to be NatWest customers - can choose how to
contact the service - they don't have to use the same method every time -
· telephone calls are answered by people - not machines - who are specially
trained to help users find the information they want;
· fax to send requests and receive replies;
· e-mail to and from Zenda, with file attachments
· in the post useful for bulk information such as travel brochures.
In future, Zenda could also send messages to pagers and cash machines - ideal
for the latest football scores, travel disruptions, share prices, concert
dates and reminders of important dates such as birthdays.
Tim Jones, Managing Director, Retail Banking Services, said Innovation is
vital for us to keep at the forefront of the financial services industry.
Zenda is a unique, truly innovative service that uses our strengths - NatWest
is trusted by millions of people to hold confidential information for them and
manage their financial affairs, and we have vast experience in handling
truckloads of data.
We've had a really positive reaction from people about Zenda from the
research we've done. It will save time and hassle for people, be easy and
friendly to use, and, above all, be personalised to each customer - you only
get the information you want, without having to sift through mountains of
other data. We're starting small, with an embryonic service, which, if
successful, could be developed much, much further. I'm personally very excited
about the possibilities that Zenda could offer.
What you can use Zenda for now
1. Day to day information
Initial services on trial will include weather reports, traffic and travel
information, current and archive news, sports results, 'what's on' guides
including reviews and, initially in London only, details of local pubs and
restaurants. All these services can be tailored to individual needs - and
handled in one go.
For example, if you're planning a trip you may want to know the best way to
get there, whether there are any delays on the roads or railways, what the
weather will be like, good places to eat and drink, where to visit and what to
see and whether your bank balance can cope. Just one call to Zenda will give
you all the information you need.
The first stage of Zenda will be on trial for an initial six months. Up to
5,000 people are being recruited on to the trial at ten NatWest branches,
starting with the Bentall Centre branch in Kingston-upon-Thames, and also
through direct mail to NatWest customers and via Personal Banking Managers.
Anyone interested in finding out more about Zenda, or registering for a
possible expansion of the trial in 1999, can call 0800 881 771 between 8 am
and 8 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays.
The initial trial will cost £5.00 per month including VAT.
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