Customers send mobile operators on dock

Mobile phone customers have widely blamed the operators for poor quality of services especially call drop, mute call, data drop, unwanted SMS and packages, charges more than service, interrupted network and fraudulent in the name of packages.

Their agony and infuriation were demonstrated at first ever public hearing on quality of services (QoS) organized by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) at Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) auditorium this afternoon.

Over 200 customers of different segments of the society participated at the hearing although over 1300 people had registered their name for participation.

But, 34 customers got the chance to speak over their sufferings rendered by the operators for both voice and internet packages and bundle offers as well as poor quality of service from the customer care centers.

They also filed complaints for the harassment during biometric SIM registration, mobile financial services and cyber crimes as well.

However, high officials from the mobile phone operators were supposed to attend the hearing to respond immediately, but none of them were present.

Bangladesh Mobile Phone Users' Association President Mohiuddin Ahmed alleged that the retailers are charging additional Taka one for during refill Taka 49 or Taka 89, resulting crores of Taka is being went to their pocket.

Mobile Phone Recharge Association President Aminul Islam Bulu said foreign-owned operators are bagging huge amount of money out of the country due to the failure of better services by the lone state-owned company Teletalk. He demanded the development and up-gradation of Teletalk.

CAB Trustee Rafikul Islam urged the government to take the responsibility to collect compensation from the struggling operator Citycell for its customers.

About the "unwanted SMS", he said the operators have no right to harass the customers through different promotional SMS. "The operators have to pay the customer if they send those unwanted promotional SMS," demanded Rafikul Islam.

Echoing Rafikul, another two customers -M Rubel and Rafayet Noman said they (operators) are sending "objectionable SMS" and those must be stopped.

Abul Bashar, a Grameenphone user, alleged that the operator is selling lucrative numbers at high price.

"I bought two such numbers for my business, those were not activated in last 15 months although my employee visited their customer care centers eight times in two months," he said, adding that, "actually Grameenphone customer care centers are being operated by the brother-in-laws and other relatives of the employees of the operator."

Abul Hasnat, customer of Robi, claimed that the operator has sold his number when he went to abroad.

Banglalink Postpaid user Bilkis Irani alleged the operator didn't activate the Taka 600 bundle offer that was given during the buy of postpaid SIM. "I have also been facing blockade of incoming call along with outgoing after cross the ceiling, but it was not supposed to be occurred."

One Aminul Islam said different night packages offered by the operators are misleading the youths.

Journalist Muhammad Zahidul Islam said regulator should impose a restriction on packages as the operators offer lot of packages which is basically confused the subscribers.

Oliur Rahman, a student urged to provide 1GB data at Taka 50 so that they can avail internet package.

Unmey Kulsum Happy, a student from Jahangirnagar University, said in our dormitory we can't connect Banglalink and Airtel SIM. If we want to talk need to come out from dormitory.

Speaking on the event, Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said after taking charge as BTRC chairman "I promised that quality of service will be my first priority and I am working accordingly to ensure quality service".

"We will arrange public hearing in every six months and I hope all of those issues raised by you (customers) would be solved," said Mahmood, adding, "If we are failed to do anyone of those, we would explain why it was not possible."

BTRC director general (system and service) Brig General Emdadul Bari said reduction of data price is needed to materialize digital Bangladesh. "We have already given directives that unused data must be added in the next package," said Bari.

Shahiduzzaman Khan, director general (Legal and licensing) conducted the hearing while BTRC Vice Chairman Ahsan Habib Khan and other high officials were present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)