(CMR) Following a formal complaint from 95 residents and business owners in Little Cayman, the Office of the Utilities Regulation (OfReg) has launched an investigation into the quality of service provided by telecommunications service provider Flow.
Within days of receipt of the complaint, OfReg met with a large number of residents in Little Cayman at a public meeting to hear their concerns.
The residents collectively described their mobile, home, and business internet service experiences as poor and sometimes non-existent. They said this poor service has persisted for the last 10-15 years.
The specific complaints were wide-ranging and included the following:
-Absence of a responsive customer care and complaint management service
-No on-Island Flow representatives for customers to contact
-Poor service has negatively impacted the ability to make emergency calls
-Despite the regular poor service, Flow requires that customers pay full price for service and has made no offer to compensate residents for the poor quality of service or service that they do not receive.
-Although the services are poor throughout the Island, it is almost non-existent on the Northwest side of the island.
-There are numerous unsightly and unsafe fallen, or extremely low-hanging, Flow cables all around the Island.
-Poor mobile service requires that wireless credit card machines have to be taken outside of buildings and away from customers/guests in order to obtain the connectivity necessary for the machines to work
-Flow representatives only visit the Islands once a week for routine maintenance but do not take complaints, and service does not improve.
-Residents are being made to pay for landline services that they are not using.
OfReg subsequently required Flow to attend a meeting to discuss the allegations made by Little Cayman residents. Delays in upgrading technology and equipment were found to be contributing to some of the quality of service issues.
Executive Director for telecommunications at OfReg, Mr. Sonji Myles, said:
“Consumers must be provided with the level of service that they have contracted for regardless of whether they are in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac or Little Cayman. Where consumers are subjected to poor service and in particular for a prolonged period, we will intervene on their behalf.”
Following the meeting with Flow as the investigation continues, OfReg has requested that Flow identify and implement a temporary fix for customers.
OfReg also states that Flow must identify and implement a permanent and scalable solution to prevent reoccurrence. Flow is also advised to consider and provide plans for compensating consumers for losses.
The interim CEO of OfReg, Mr. Peter Gough, stated, “There is no reason that Little Cayman residents should be subjected to poor service. OfReg is committed to providing relief to the residents of Little Cayman as quickly as possible, and we thank them for coming to us with their concerns as it is through this mechanism that we can better address the issues being experienced by consumers.”
OfReg said any determination or directive to Flow would be issued following the investigation.