After what could only be described as a rough two-year stint in Barbados’ mobile market, there is little to suggest that Ozone Wireless is still operational here.
For almost a month, customers of the cash-strapped network have been complaining that not only is the service down, but all of Ozone’s customer service points are closed. Barbados TODAY paid a visit to Ozone’s shared spaces at Nature’s Discount locations in the Dome Mall and at Sheraton Mall and was told that staff have not turned up for work in weeks and no one seemed to know if the stations would reopen.
“I have no idea what is going on there. We were not told anything but all I can say is that none of the Ozone staff has turned up for work in more than a week now. That’s all I can say,” a worker at at one of the Nature’s Discount outlets said. Barbados TODAY also made several attempts to reach the company’s head Dr Nicholas Kelly but to no avail.
However, a search on Ozone’s Facebook page revealed the following post, dated July 24, 2019, which stated, “Dear Ozone Patrons, due to technical difficulties and upcoming changes we are currently experiencing a network outage. Engineers are working to rectify as soon as possible. Apologies for the inconvenience caused. Senior Management will honor any rebates as required.”
But several customers told Barbados TODAY that Ozone data service was down since July 10 and almost a month later, they are no closer to getting any answers about the service. In addition, invoices have still been emailed.
“I have already switched to Flow because this is really poor. Their customer service number is not working, there is no service on the devices for over a month now and nobody is saying word one about what is going on. I owe them $55 and I don’t even have any place where I can pay it,” said Marcia Lewis.
Another customer, Kysha Harper said, “I tried with them because I wanted to support a third player but it is clear that they have no regard for people. If at least you could get a hold of someone to give you an explanation it might be a little better. It is like the company just up and disappear.”
A year ago, the telecommunications provider revealed that it was sending home 80 per cent of its workforce and would suspend all debt payments in a bid to survive a multi-million dollar debt.
At the time it was revealed that Ozone Wireless owed $8 million to over 50 creditors, and would therefore undertake a three-year debt re-profiling programme.
Kelly who had just taken over the company in bid to salvage the millions invested, explained that the company had frozen all debt payments until January 2019, and would reduce its staff complement from 60 to 12 employees.
He also said then while Ozone would maintain its Voice Over LTE service, its primary focus would be on data provision.
“We have a lot of debt. We owe 52 different creditors. We owe money to our landlords for tower rentals, we owe money to Flow for towers and connections. However, the amount of money that is owed is significantly less than the money that has been invested thus far and there are people lining up to invest in Ozone because they want the third player to survive. So I have a plan to freeze all debt payments and renegotiate the cost of doing business with all of our customers,” Kelly said. He indicated that almost all of the creditors had agreed to give the company six months of breathing room. [email protected]