A public hearing yesterday shed light on, what customers termed, “unbearable” service quality of mobile phone operators, especially the “huge” number of call drops, “sluggish” internet speed, “worrisome” marketing calls and “unwanted” SMSs.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Md Jahurul Haque along with some other senior regulatory officials also expressed their dissatisfaction over the “awful” service quality.
The BTRC sought specific complaints for the hearing and received about 1,600 complaints.
The regulatory officials discussed only around 30 complaints or so at the event at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh and assured responding to the rest within the next two to three weeks through their website.
This was the second public hearing on telecom service quality. The first one was hosted on November 2016.
One customer of a mobile operator, Shariful Isalm, said he once purchased a Tk 45 value-added service but was charged seven times for it. Moreover, he said to have not received any satisfactory solution on complaining about it.
Another customer, Ataur Rahman, said he had bought a new SIM and found some value-added services already registered to it. He said to have been unable to opt-out of the services even after several attempts and those have been charging him daily.
“In some cases we even could not find any opt-out option on the app-based services,” Rahman said.
Mohammad Mafizul Islam, a senior reporter of Ekattor TV, said to be still waiting to receive a SIM he had bought on February 20 this year although the top-listed operator had promised to deliver it within two days.
Meanwhile, Islam said to have issued complaints several times, not only with the operator but also with the BTRC using their “100” short code, but found no response.
ABM Humayan Kabir, director general of the BTRC’s system and service department, said they have already fined three top operators based on complaints filed through the short code.
From May last year to April this year, the telecom regulator said to have received 7,908 complaints over service quality of four mobile operators. Of that, 7,390 complaints have already been addressed.
In the programme, the BTRC chairman said they had decided to introduce a system, alongside using social media platforms such as Facebook, to receive complaints round-the-clock.
“We always welcome complaints and that will help us to address issues and improve service quality,” he said.
The BTRC chairman acknowledged that if the past few years are taken into consideration, the service quality was gradually declining. He too said to have sometimes received unwanted marketing calls promoting flat or plot sales and other commodities.
All the commissioners, director generals, chief executive officers from all the mobile operators, senior officials from law enforcing agencies and consumer rights bodies also attended the hearing.