The project was initiated in collaboration with the Department of Information and Telecommunications to introduce more transparency in the billing system of service providers in order to enable consumers to better read and understand their bills and usage details. The Commission requested and obtained bills from the different operators in the telecommunications industry and along with DICT, reviewed them and discussed different areas that can be improved. This was in terms of presenting the bills in plain language; context and comprehensiveness; separating fixed costs and overage and also adding some relevant information such as outstanding bill summary, package details and even a guideline for consumers on how to read and understand bills. Also, of concern is customer service, complaint handling procedures, Cable TV and internet connection issues. Thus far, the Commission along with DICT has met with all the Telecom Companies and raised all the concerns.
The warranty policy of the various telecom companies were also reviewed. After investigating a tip-off regarding the unfair warranty term of a telecommunications provider, the Commission initiated a review in the terms & conditions of all telecommunication companies to identify any unfair terms which may affect the rights of consumers. The investigation revealed unfair warranty terms, unfair contract terms and contracts not expressed in plain intelligible language. As per the law, the Commission therefore took necessary steps and served compliance notices to the companies in breach.
Under this project, the Commission will also be looking at other areas of the services offered by the different ISP’s in order to ensure consumer protection and fair business practice. A number of proposals such as Quality of Service Standards and monitoring of internet usage/speed.