With the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) expressing concern over the number of complaints from Flow customers, the telecommunications company which recently merged with LIME has hired an additional 200 workers in order to fix the problems.
Chief executive officer and managing director Niall Sheehy told a news briefing at Flow’s Warrens, St Michael headquarters this afternoon that these employees have been given the task of transitioning all customers to Flow’s technologically advanced platform.
Sheehy said 30,000 former LIME customers who were making voice calls through an outdated IP system were migrated onto the new network in July alone, and he is urging the others to make the switch now in the interest of more efficient problem-solving.
“By the end of November . . . 100 per cent of Barbados would have fibre available. However, it takes time to migrate all those homes across, because each of those migrations requires physical [interventions]. Someone has to go out to the customer, go into their house, change up what they have, run a cable; it is very expensive, but that’s our commitment to doing it,” the telecoms company chief emphasized.
While admitting that he was not satisfied with the level of customer service or the time it was taking to resolve issues, Sheehy assured that most of the nagging problems would be eliminated within the next 18 months.
“If I could wave a wand and get them all done . . . I would. But until such time as everybody [is] moved across to that . . . people would continue to have issues. The other challenge for us is, ‘do we invest in old technology that is going to be down in three months [or] try and fix an issue that can be done by migrating?’”
Sheehy said the company was therefore prioritizing ex-LIME customers with “legacy issues” – problems they have been experiencing for months to years – to get them onto the new Flow network as soon as possible.
“The challenge for us is [that] everybody wants to be fixed now and get onto the network now, so we are trying to manage that process,” he said.
The company CEO also revealed that a special team has been established, headed by senior director of customer experience Justin Inniss, to address all customer service issues in the shortest possible time.
Sheehy also revealed that 30,000 customers who have been affected during the transition have been reimbursed.
“We have agreed to reimburse them $43, which is credit for one month’s rental for each one of those people. Some of those people were not affected at all; some were affected for a day or two; some were affected a maximum, I believe, six weeks. We felt that was a fair and reasonable position and that notification would have gone out to people about that,” the Flow boss pointed out.
When asked for its position on the complaints against Flow, the FTC told Barbados TODAY it has been in constant contact with the company with regard to the “several” problems experienced by customers.