Freddie Kissoon was spot-on in his piece on the non-evaluation and non-valuation of the work done by Lenno Craig in his challenge to Digicel.
Telephone companies all over the world use every opportunity to make money – and unless challenged will make money off us in ways unimaginable. The Lenno Craig Vs Digicel matter is not unique to Digicel, but is a good example of how consumers are ripped off by various companies. In some countries you pay from “send to end” where you start paying from the time you engage a phone to the time you end the call – the argument being that the company’s resources are engaged. In some countries you pay to place and receive a call.
It would appear as though the consumers body and the PUC in Guyana are ultimately clueless in everything and do not employ the resources that can educate them on the ways that their charges make money from consumers – without the PUC’s approval. In fact, the PUC is, at the very least, as culpable as the companies’ in ripping customers off – and it only when the consumers bring matters to them that they act.
Think of it this way, if Digicel’s subscriber base is 300,000 and GT&T’s is 300,000 and you access 10% of their customer bases’ voice mail per day at, say half-a-dollar per access, the revenue is approximately G$5million per year for each company. And, remember, in the meantime, the consumer did not get to complete his/her call.
Maybe the PUC should order that the consumer only pay upon leaving a voice mail (instead of paying for a “ringing out to voice mail”. So, that’s totalling approximately G$10million that the consumer base can save for things like food or education etc.
Much more can be written on this matter, but the PUC needs to start doing some work. After all, it collects million dollars per year from the consumers (through the two telephone companies) – while the consumers’ advocates and consumer bodies receive nothing. The PUC is therefore as guilty as the telephone companies in extracting moneys from consumers and giving them little in return.
Yes we should all thank Lenno Craig for bringing this matter to national attention, leading a fight and winning it.
Meanwhile how many consumers know that we are looking at a potential increase in telephone rates and electricity rates again.