BTRC to take public opinion on telecom services

Anisur Rahman, a student of a private university, received a bonus internet pack of 4GB from Teletalk upon recharging his account with Tk 29 after biometric re-registration. But suddenly, his bonus disappeared.

He complained to the authorities but to no avail.

Rahman's complaint is just one of the hundreds the regulator receives from mobile subscribers every day.

To get the subscribers' feedback on the quality benchmarks of operators, the telecom watchdog is hosting a public hearing on November 22.

This is the first time that Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is hosting such an event to resolve the issues, said its Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.

"I think it will help improve the operators' service quality -- and we can also get customer feedback too."

The event will take place at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh auditorium at Ramna in Dhaka and will be open to all.

Operators frequently say that their call drop ratio is less than the International Telecommunication Union's standard, which is less than 3 percent. "We can now learn what customers feel about it," Mahmood said.

On January 2014, the BTRC issued its first Quality of Service directive following increased call drops, poor network coverage and unsatisfactory customer care support.

The country has achieved half of the targets it set to ensure the quality of service for mobile phone subscribers, according to a report published in Dhaka at the 17th South Asian Telecommunication Regulators' Council.

A few months back, the regulator launched a short code 2872 and an email address ([email protected]) to enable subscribers to lodge complaints.

The BTRC also set up a dedicated number (01555121121) to receive complaints during office hours. But, hardly anyone answers that number.

From July last year to February this year, the supervisory body received 1,338 official complaints on telecom services and social media abuse and they were able to resolve 87.74 percent of the complaints, said a senior official of the BTRC.

After biometric verification, the complaint pattern changed but the numbers of complaints are more or less the same, he said.

In recent times, subscribers are expressing their dissatisfaction over different issues, especially the complexities and loopholes in the different internet service packs and call rate offers, said another senior official of BTRC, who is dealing with the matter.

At the public hearing, the senior executives of the mobile operators will be present and they have to respond to queries and complaints.

In August last year, BTRC launched a QoS survey across 100 spots in the country that included a technical analysis and customer satisfaction survey, but it is yet to finalise the report.

As of August, there are 11.89 crore active SIMs in the market and 5.83 crore of those are connected to the internet, according to data from the BTRC.


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