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OUR to assess Digicel's mitigation measures against credit depletion

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says it will be doing further assessments of mitigation measures implemented by Digicel in 2017 after customers complained of undue mobile credit depletion.

OUR said it's Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) reported 26 complaints from the telecoms company's customers during the April-June 2017 quarter.

“Specifically, customers have complained to the OUR's that their call credit was being used for data services whenever their data credit expired. This was being done without notification from the operator that their data credit is nearing exhaustion, or has been exhausted.”

OUR informed that after it intervened in July 2017, it received only three complaints for the July-September 2017 period.

According to a release from the utilities regulator, this data was derived from conventional contact with customers as well as customers' complaints on social and mainstream media.

“Following on meetings and correspondence between Digicel and the OUR, which started in 2017 July, Digicel advised that credit depletion mitigation measures were being implemented, which included a reconfiguration of their system which would result in a ceiling being set for data allotment under a prescribed plan,” explained OUR.

It said: “This configuration does not allow access to data once a customer's data plan expires. Digicel further advised that where data is depleted on handsets with LTE feature, the company will absorb all associated costs until the end of 2017, when the proposed system changes were to be fully implemented.”

The OUR further reported that since the implementation of these mitigation measures, Digicel has advised that it has seen a reduction in complaints related to data charges/credit depletion to its Customer Care Centre.

Data from CAU for the October–December 2017 period also confirmed the downward trend with only one complaint being received, it added.

"Notwithstanding, given that the full implementation of the mitigation measures would not have been completed until the end of 2017, the OUR will conduct a further assessment within the first quarter of 2018."

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