Better Telco governance in the Philippines

In a globally competitive world the Philippines needs to get to use all the technology it can get to keep itself competitive if alone catch up. And while the private sector has been able to do its part to enable the country to have this capability, it is equally important the government has to provide the needed efforts to have the governance framework present. Reading this article I get the impression the government regulator does not have the robust and diligent capability to address the many customer complaints present.

One interestingly information I know is in Australia when a stolen or lost mobile is reported, the mobile is immobilized by the Telco operator making it useless by whoever who has possession of it. Such practice does not exist in the Philippines. In February alone 1,862 mobile handset were reported stolen and 8,935 for the entire last year.  At PHP2,500 a handset that’s over PHP22 Million pesos of profits which the government can focus its efforts to deprive this illegal market from having.

From BusinessWorld Philippines

April 23, 2012

Poor Internet connection, billing top customer complaints in 2011

CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS on poor Internet connection and billing rose by more than a half last year, according to data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), a situation attributed by service providers to a surge in demand.

In its one-stop public assistance complaint report sent yesterday, the regulator said under the “other complaints” category, 50% comprised poor broadband network connection and 42% were disputed billing charges.

There were 1,199 complaints last year, it added, up by 43.1% from 783 in 2010.

The data also showed that other complaints reported as of February stood at 210. Comparative data were not available.

Sought for comment, Ramon R. Isberto, spokesperson of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., (PLDT), said the complexity of broadband service amid a spike in subscriber growth has contributed to the rise in Internet connection-related complaints.

“You should note that broadband subscribers have grown sharply,” Mr. Isberto said in a text message.

“Also, this is a more complex service — you have to deal not only with connectivity but also with customer devices like computers, laptops, and smartphones that are more complicated than legacy handsets,” he added.

For her part, Yolanda C. Crisanto, Globe Telecom, Inc. head for corporate communication, echoed Mr. Isberto’s sentiments.

“The changing market dynamics especially the increased usage of mobile data through smartphones will impact the back-end system that existing players are using,” she said in a separate text message.

“Today’s customers have better access to sophisticated services with the influx of smartphones, tablets and other devices,” Ms. Crisanto said.

“The challenge for the players now is to improve our systems that would empower the customers to enjoy the full capacity of their devices.”

The NTC report, on the other hand, showed that complaints of lost cellphones, text scam (fraudulent messages) and text spam (unwarranted messages usually meant for promotions), dipped last year.

Reports of lost or stolen mobile phones stood at 8,935 units, down by 15.5% from 10,574 in the previous year. Data also showed that 1,862 cases of lost or stolen mobile phones have been reported as of February. Comparative figures were not available.

The number of reported text scams also slightly fell to 1,506 from 1,516 in 2010. But as of February, the NTC has received 238 text scam complaints.

Cases of text spamming have realized a heftier reduction by 45.56% to 283 from 520 in 2010, even as the NTC has recorded 50 cases as of February.

“The issued MC (Memorandum Circular) No. 04-07-2009, where content/service providers shall no longer be allowed to send or initiate push messages has influenced the number of 2010 complaints against 2009,” the NTC said.

After the merger of PLDT and Sun Cellular operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel) last year, PLDT has now 70% of the market share, leaving Globe Telecom with 30%.

Shares of PLDT slid by 0.16% to P2,546 apiece while Globe Telecom rose by 0.63% to P1,100 apiece when the stock market closed yesterday.

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. — C. H. C. Venzon

Article location : http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?Section=Economy&title=Poor Internet connection, billing top customer complaints in 2011&id=50480

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