Mobile Subscribers raise their voice in the first ever public hearing

Mobile phone subscribers have complained of facing anomalies in getting different call rate packages, internet and sms services from the mobile phone operators. They sought immediate action from the telecom regulator saying that such anomalies shouldn’t be let going on.

The complains were placed by them during the first ever public hearing organized by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) at the Engineers Institution Auditorium.

Around 1500 people got registered with the BTRC to attend the first ever public hearing. Out of those 1500 people, BTRC invited around 500 in the hearing. A total of 34 subscribers got the chance to place complains during the two and half hour long hearing.

Dr Shahjahan Mahmud, Chairman of the BTRC said that they will send all of the complaints to the respective operators and asked them to solve those immediately. The regulator will conduct another hearing within the next six months, he said.

The BTRC Chairman also said that they will establish a laboratory to ensure quality of service. “We have already imported necessary machineries to monitor quality of service.”

He said that out of every six persons, five are using mobile phone now; so BTRC is determined to ensure the quality of service now, he said.

The Chairman also said that this hearing is not the only place to raise the voice for the subscribers. “The subscribers can place any complaints and queries through phone and mail to BTRC call center.”

Earlier, as per the advertisement of the BTRC media wing, the concerned high officials of Mobile phone operators were supposed to attend the complaints and queries of the subscribers during the hearing.

However, most of the operators sent their junior level officials in the hearing.

During the hearing, Mohammad Mohiuddin, President of the Muthophone Association said that the subscribers are not being compensated for the call drops. Besides, the retailers are charging extra one or two taka for Tk 49 or Tk 89 recharge.

Aminul Islam Bulu, President of Mobile Phone Recharge Association said that the foreign operators are repatriating thousands of crores of money as state owned Teletalk failed to update its network and services. He recommended strengthening the Teletalk.

Rafiqul Islam, member of the Board of Trustee of Consumer Rights said that the operators have no right to irritate the subscribers with several unnecessary promotional sms. “If they want to give these sms, they have to give incentive to the subscribers.”

Two subscribers named Mohammd Rubel and Rafayet Noman also said that they have been receiving huge number of unnecessary promotional sms including the objectionable one of having ‘spa’ in some message parlor.

Meanwhile, Abul Bashar, a Grameenphone user, alleged that the operator is selling lucrative numbers at high price.

“I bought two such numbers for my business, those were not activated in last 15 months although my employee visited their customer care centers eight times in two months,” he said, adding that, “actually Grameenphone customer care centers are being operated by the brother-in-laws and other relatives of the employees of the operator.”

Abul Hasnat, customer of Robi, claimed that the operator has sold his number when he went to abroad.

Banglalink Postpaid user Bilkis Irani alleged the operator didn’t activate the Taka 600 bundle offer that was given during the buy of postpaid SIM. “I have also been facing blockade of incoming call along with outgoing after cross the ceiling, but it was not supposed to be occurred.”

One Aminul Islam said different night packages offered by the operators are misleading the youths.

Journalist Muhammad Zahidul Islam said regulator should impose a restriction on packages as the operators offer lot of packages which is basically confused the subscribers.

Oliur Rahman, a student urged to provide 1GB data at Taka 50 so that they can avail internet package.

Unmey Kulsum Happy, a student from Jahangirnagar University said in our dormitory we can’t connect Banglalink and Airtel SIM. If we want to talk need to come out from dormitory.

Shahiduzzaman Khan, director general (Legal and licensing) conducted the hearing while BTRC Vice Chairman Ahsan Habib Khan and other high officials were present the hearing.

Faisal Mahmud