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Consumers dissatisfied with aspects of telecomm services

Consumers dissatisfied with aspects of telecomm services


Othneil Browne, Donna Francis and Elias Francis, three users of the various telecommunications services here, have all expressed dissatisfaction with aspects of their telecommunications experiences.

The three all live in the South Leeward area {{more}}and aired their displeasure on Thursday, August 28, during a National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) community discussion at the Vermont Community Centre.

“Since I took cable, so many times I’ve spent without having anything, sometimes weeks and it will just come back when it ready,” said Browne, who is from Vermont.

He says that he has a major problem with the service provided by cable provider FLOW and this problem was around since the company was called Karib Cable.

Browne said that he is annoyed that even when he does not have service, he is stilled billed normally.

“I still have to pay; so my thing is, if the connection goes and they are aware of this, I think there should be a rebate. You should see that on your bill, regardless of how small it is,” said Browne, who stressed, “they should take off something.”

He said that he has been using the service over 10 years and although the intermittent service has been an issue, he has never been issued a refund.

He added that when he got his cable box, a down payment of $100 was paid and he was told that if the service is terminated at any point a refund would be given. He said that while a number of persons are taking back their boxes to FLOW, he has never heard of a refund being given in relation to the down payment.

However, Browne said that although he has problems, he does not want to get rid of the service, because he likes to watch sports, movies and the news when the service is working properly.

“They should do better, because I’m hearing that in different Caribbean countries you have these same companies charging people one flat fee and they get what they want and in SVG we have to pay for package;s why can’t we have the same thing like the others?” said Browne.

The packages and the channels FLOW offers in the various countries are different in some instances.

Donna Francis, of Retreat, Vermont, has major grievances with FLOW and LIME, but she is not certain what the challenges are with Digicel, as she does not own a Digicel phone.

“With FLOW I think it is very unfair to consumers, the sudden switch in channels…and not even that, the soon to come change in price for basically a package you were getting for $85 you now have to pay $112 for it and that is totally unfair,” said Francis.

In relation to LIME, Francis said that she has LIME’s Internet and landline, “and the service is just ridiculous, because half of the time I don’t have Internet and I don’t have the use of my landline phone and I’m paying a bill.”

She said that after years of bad service, she recently got a refund of around $99 because the service was not working for about three weeks, “so I was refunded.”

“What we need is better service for our money. This bad service has been going on for years with me and I would just pay my bills still, but I got fed up and threaten not to pay and it was rectified for a while, but the service is still dropping in and out,” said Francis who added that the NTRC community discussion was very informative in sensitizing the public about their rights.

Elias (Francis) who lives in Rillan Hill, said that content, quality of service and pricing are his major issues with telecommunications companies.

He asked, “Do you really get 4G?”

He, however, revealed that his personal problem is that his FLOW Internet service is not stable at his home in Rillan Hill.

“I was with LIME, but I switched to FLOW and now I changed over, the service is not stable and it is not reliable.”

He said that while LIME’s Internet service was stable, it was too slow for him and he went to FLOW with the hope of better speeds.

“The Internet is faster with FLOW, but it is unstable and unreliable when it does work. To me is six of one and half dozen of the other,” said Francis.

This last session heard from Universal Service Fund administrator Kyron Duncan and administrative officer at the NTRC Andra Keizer.

The NTRC Community discussion sought to find out from telecommunications service users, “Are you having issues with telecommunications services being provided by LIME, Digicel or FLOW?”