Tue | Dec 6, 2016

LETTER OF THE DAY - LIME's proposed mail change an obscenity

Published:Tuesday | December 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:I received in late November a letter dated November 1, 2014 addressed to 'Dear Valued Customer' from Martin Roos, the CEO of LIME Caribbean. The letter accompanied a telephone bill.

I was encouraged to "visit our website ... www.lime.com ... and sign up to receive your bills online instead of a paper bill by traditional mail".

The envelope delivered by the traditional mail that Mr Roos speaks about had no date and was delivered by a man on a bicycle. The letter further advised that: "Starting January 1, 2015, customers who continue to receive paper bills will now be charged ... a monthly charge of $262, inclusive of tax, for this service."

The whole operation is fundamentally flawed and a national obscenity.

1. The notice was far too short for customers to work out a new payment arrangement.

2. It shifts the responsibility of payment dates and necessity from LIME to the customer.

3. It is discriminatory against those who do not have the technological capability for e-billing and fundamentally leveraged against the poor.

4. There is no basis for what is obviously an arbitrary charge and no evidence that the Consumer Affairs Commission, or the Office of UR, have approved the change and the charge.

5. It is a sleight-of-hand attempt to add $3,144 to my annual bill - no doubt to help with LIME'S deficit.

6. It is an arrogant attempt by a public-service company to implement changes without proper consultation and approval.

As a long-time customer of LIME, I am disappointed at this arbitrary development and also disappointed at the quality of service now being offered by the company. Some examples:

LIME Internet service has been very unreliable. Fortunately, some years ago, Flow installed a cable network in Hope Pastures where I live. Now that LIME has bought Flow for $3 billion, we wonder whether the quality service offered by Flow will be maintained.

At certain times in the day in attempting to make cellular phone calls, you are interrupted by the operator saying: "All our circuits are busy, please try your call again later."

The date of delivery of bills bears no relation to the date of payment. Sometimes the bicycle rider arrives later than the payment date!

No bills at all. For several months, I received no bills for my land and fax lines. Then came a bill with amounts due for several months with the current month's amount and the balance due being stated. I have had no answer to my letter of complaint from the office of the president.

The new proposal was ill-timed and unjust and I understand has been quietly withdrawn - for now. The mail delivery system needs major overhaul.

ALFRED SANGSTER

Kingston 6