Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Reduce land line rates now, FLOW

Published:Thursday | October 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It was only back in 2013 that then CEO of LIME (now Flow), Mr Garfield Sinclair, was busy on every radio and TV talk show and in the daily newspapers posing as the great defender and 'Value Champion' of lower mobile termination rates for the benefit of overburdened consumers who were paying as high as $17 per minute to make a local call. On every occasion, he would urge the OUR (Office of Utility Regulations) to act quickly so that his company could pass on the savings to consumers. Now in 2017, that very same company, now under the name Flow, is doing the exact opposite by fighting tooth and nail to postpone the OUR's implementation of a reduction in landline termination rates by 90 per cent, leaving the still overburdened consumers with the prospect of a long wait to get another overdue price break. Oh, the irony!

To think that in the space of a few years, Flow would now be climbing the steps of the Supreme Court seeking to delay implementation of cheaper landline rates for the next six months to at least two years is downright shocking and outrageous! Has our 'Value Champion' traded its armour for 40 pieces of silver? Apart from businesses, just look at who else uses a landline these days: mainly the elderly who don't understand smartphones and so they need the convenience of their home phone to reach loved ones and call for help.

What amazes me is the silence of consumer-rights groups like the Consumer Affairs Commission and others like the PSOJ, JMA, JCC. I would have expected them to be coming out in support of consumers and their members getting a price break on landline calls much sooner rather than later.

The new Flow CEO, Mr Stephen Price, had better get the price right on landline calls very soon in the same way his predecessor championed the cause for mobile. Otherwise, he could end up a pricey replacement.

Over to you, consumer rights groups and anyone wanting cheaper landline rates, today, and not in 2019, or 2020.

Barry Broadwell