Complaints vs telcos rising, NTC record shows

By: Miguel R. Camus, August 6th, 2013 08:33 PM

The country’s top telecommunication firms have been upgrading their systems but customer complaints—mainly about broadband services—continued to pour in during the first half of this year, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Based on figures provided by the regulator, total complaints against the telecommunications firms from January to June hit 1,569. For the entire 2012, NTC received a total of 2,143 complaints.

About 50 percent of the complaints were about “poor broadband or high-speed Internet services,” said Froilan Jamias,  head of  NTC’s  One-stop Public Assistance Center.

This was followed by billing problems or disputed charges, accounting for about 42 percent. Complaints on dropped calls and poor reception accounted for a smaller fraction, he said.

Based on the NTC data, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the country’s biggest telecommunications provider, had 1,013 complaints—591 against Smart Communications and 241 against Sun Cellular. The group got 1,372 complaints in 2012.

Rival Globe Telecom got 556 complaints as of June against 771 for the entire 2012.

Jamias said the growing complaints were partly anticipated even  as he noted that the figures  were “relatively small” when taking into account the total number of subscribers.

“Internet penetration has been going up, so usage has also been going up,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

The NTC has been tracking increases in complaints. In 2010, for instance, the NTC recorded only 701 complaints.

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