(CMR) OffReg announced that Cayman consumers are now one step closer to receiving consumer protection regulations ironically following a weekend out unexplained outages by local telecom provider, FLOW. Numerous customers took to social media after at least two days of issues on their FLOW devices.
There appeared to be no real explanation as to what was happening on the network this weekend and posters complained that FLOW was slow to provide any information including that there was an issue. However, CMR did obtain a message that was sent by the local CEO, Daniel Tathum to a small group of persons:
“Colleagues. FLOW presently experiencing an outage on there Mobile networks in Jamaica that's affecting Cayman. Engineers are working on it. Danny Tathum – Flow Cayman Islands”
Eventually, the company shared that:
However, customers were less than receptive with over 930 comments on this Facebook post; the vast majority of them being negative:
OffReg has announced that the final draft of the proposed regulations is now out for public consultation. These proposed regulations will apply to ICT service providers and ICT network providers, and seek to ensure their services and networks are reliable, provided with due care and skill and rendered in accordance with the standards reasonably expected of a competent provider of these services.
Alee Fa’amoe, Executive Director ICT at OfReg explained the process:
“Transparency and accountability are at the heart of this, and every public consultation process. Regulations are designed to protect the consumer while at the same time creating a healthy competitive environment for the industry, which then, in turn, provides the best value to consumers. With this as a background, you can see how decisions made by OfReg affect different people and organizations in different ways. The consultation process provides all those who will be affected by a regulatory decision the opportunity to provide input.”
The proposed regulations address five key areas that will be of interest to consumers:
They specify requirements of service providers to provide accurate descriptions of the service and other information to consumers, through advertising and any other means.
They detail requirements on how service providers address complaints including handling, tracking and recording procedures.
Terms and conditions of contracts are specified, addressing how they may be amended and in particular how roaming plans are outlined.
Bills are addressed, including what information is to be included on bills, methods by which the consumer can make enquiries about bills and how service providers can address non-payment of an outstanding and undisputed balance on the consumer’s account.
Provision and Repairs
How services and fault repair are addressed, including timeframes, the consumer’s ability to report faults and the provision of notices of planned service disruptions or outages to consumers.
Responses are due to OfReg by 5:00 pm on 31 January 2020 and should be sent to [email protected] or delivered to the OfReg headquarters at Alissta Towers, North Sound Road.
To view the consultation paper in full, visit www.ofreg.ky/consultations.