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Digicel faces deadline

Published:Monday | January 21, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Telecoms giant Digicel has formed a technical team to resolve recent issues with its service that caused the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to give the company a deadline to respond.

Chief Operating Officer of Digicel Jamaica Richard Fraser, said the team will give updates on its resolution to customers and the respective regulatory agencies in a timely manner.

"We are confident that the deadline issued by the OUR will be met," he added. The OUR gave Digicel until Thursday, January 24, to respond to customer complaints about their inability to set up calls successfully though the telecommunications provider's network. The OUR noted "numerous" customer complaints over the last few weeks, specifically about calls going directly to voicemail without the call party's phone registering a ring. This incurs a charge to the calling customer, without giving them the option to terminate the call.

Customers receiving assistance

Fraser said customers have been receiving assistance and support directly from the customer care agents and through Digicel's social media pages. He admitted that recently some customers had been making queries about Digicel's newly upgraded voicemail system.

"The upgrade has resulted in calls going to voicemail more efficiently when the person being called is otherwise engaged, such as while sending a text message or browsing the Internet," Fraser explained. "As with any system upgrade, however, there have been some teething pains, and regrettably some of our valued customers have been inconvenienced." Fraser acknowledged there were other issues though, hence why the technical team is working quickly to implement a resolution. He maintained that the new system is more efficient and is built with more modern technology.

Prior to the OUR's public statement, Fraser said Digicel had been in open communication with the OUR and had provided updates on the issue and planned actions. He expressed regrets for any inconvenience and thanked customers for their patience during "this important upgrade process".

Among other things, the OUR has asked Digicel to outline the actions to address the issues; remedies to affected customers; and the company's policy for the treatment of calls as well as the implications that such a policy has on the termination, billing and customer notification in respect of such calls. The OUR said as soon as the information is provided by Digicel, the OUR will communicate this to customers.