Fri | Sep 22, 2017

OUR pushing hard on telecoms standards

Published:Saturday | December 24, 2016 | 12:03 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A letter from Mr Dujon Russell was published in your newspaper on Thursday, December 22, 2016, decrying poor customer service from the two major telecommunications providers, Digicel and FLOW.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has also received complaints from customers about this matter and has been in dialogue with the respective service providers to ensure speedy resolution to this critical issue.

In addition, the Telecommunications Act allows the OUR, after consultation with the portfolio minister, to make rules prescribing quality-of-service standards for the telecommunications sector and governing the administration and resolution of customer complaints.

We would like to assure Mr Russell that the OUR has moved to do just that. It has consulted on, and drafted, proposed quality-of-service and consumer-protection rules for the telecommunications sector which, among other issues, will prescribe minimum targets to be achieved and maintained by telecommunications providers in respect of the quality of service to its customers.

Specifically, the rules seek to establish minimum standards for such service-quality issues as the percentage of incoming calls that should be answered within a specified timeline, the number of customer complaints that should be received over a period of time, and the timeline for addressing customer complaints. The rules also propose a regime for the measurement and reporting of telecommunications providers' performance in relation to these standards.

We hope that these rules will be enacted in the new year. Once finalised and published, we encourage customers to familiarise themselves with the standards, so they can readily identify breaches and report them to the OUR.

ELIZABETH BENNETT MARSH

Public Education Specialist, OUR