The EDITOR Sir,
I have been a FLOW subscriber for approximately six years. While I’ve never been impressed with their poor customer service, high prices and frequent service interruptions with vague response time commitments, like the typical Jamaican consumer I came to accept their mediocrity as inevitable. Lately though, bad has gone to worse! My bill has been increased for the privilege of having fewer channels and the service quality is on a decidedly downward trajectory.
To the best of my knowledge, I signed up and paid for a package which includes a list of channels that FLOW is obligated to provide. Telling me after you have collected my money that you shouldn’t have been providing those channels in the first place and if I now want them I’ll have to pay extra is outright dishonesty. The silence of the Broadcasting Commission and other consumer affairs groups is both deafening and disgraceful. The service quality itself is also very poor. Here in Stony Hill, Internet interruptions are a weekly occurrence, and even when working, download speeds fluctuate constantly. I’ve already mentioned the loss of several channels but even a number of those that remain have issues. At different times of the day the feed skips, has no audio or even goes away completely for a few seconds at a time. Additionally, I’ve noticed that a number of channels I watch have a significant percentage of programmes and ads in Spanish. What exactly are we paying for?
To add insult to injury, Mr. Sinclair, FLOW’s new boss has been adamantly and arrogantly professing his satisfaction with the current state of affairs. He clearly thinks that we the consumers have been the beneficiaries of FLOW’s largess and it’s now time to pay up. I think he’s suffering from a short memory. He needs to look back at the history of the telecommunications division of FLOW (formerly Cable and Wireless) and remember what happened to it when competition in the form of Digicel came about.
FLOW needs a wake-up call. I’m not holding my breath for any regulatory intervention as the government and its agents are clearly complicit. Competition is the only hope for the suffering Jamaican consumer.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner