Telecommunications company Digicel says it sees no reason to celebrate a move by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) to bring the hammer down on three local utility companies, including its main competitor Cable & Wireless (C&W), which operates here as FLOW.
However, in light of the FTC’s plans to issue new and amended standards and, in some cases, to offer automatic compensation to customers, the Irish giant said it was not taking matters related to customer service lightly.
“Customers’ perception of ‘value’ is made up of a combination of factors that include meeting their needs and the quality and price of the products/services to do so,” noted Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Barbados Alex Tasker, adding that his company’s success following its recent entry into the fixed line voice market “reflects the value that we offer our customers across a blend of these elements”.
However, Tasker refused to comment directly on the FTC’s decision on C&W, saying “Digicel does not think it’s appropriate to comment on a matter between the two parties”.
Earlier this month Barbados TODAY reported that the FTC was preparing to impose new standards and targets on the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P), the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and C&W effective January 1, 2018 that could result in fines of $100,000 on conviction and $10,000 for every day breaches occur.
In response to the FTC’s move, C&W Barbados said last week it had reviewed the Commission’s proposed standards of service and was satisfied for the most part that they were consistent with reasonable industry standards.
However, the former monopoly telecommunications provider complained that the application of these standards to only Cable & Wireless Barbados in the context of a highly competitive telecommunications market was not only “anachronistic”, but also “inconsistent with the ideal of a level playing field in the industry”.
The BWA, BL&P and C&W, which is the island’s main supplier of landline services, now have just under two months to notify their thousands of customers of the standards and targets which the companies are obligated by order of the FTC to meet.