The loss being incurred by businesspeople through the erratic service and, sometimes, complete breakdown of the three mobile phone companies in Sierra Leone, is indescribably galling. The suffering and inconvenience visited upon other mobile phone subscribers is nauseatingly sickening.
This is why we wish to salute the announcement by the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) denouncing these companies for the deteriorating and head-aching treatment being meted out to customers by AIRTEL, AFRICELL and COMIUM. This is a laudable naming and shaming enterprise of these companies, which are causing headache for mobile phone users and show no remorse for it.
Like the NATCOM statement says, this is “a disturbing situation that requires an immediate solution”. These phone companies must STOP treating their subscribers as if they are doing us a favour. The arrogance displayed by their customer service workers and even some senior officials at these mobile phone companies is shocking.
The discomfort is unbearable. It is common to put through calls to a mobile phone number, especially Airtel, just to be told that the number is switched off when in fact it is on. The issues are just too many: Post-dialling delays are commonplace, calls keep dropping repeatedly, there is an overload of unsolicited SMS text messages, the frustration of using telephone especially in the provinces, in addition to all of this stress is the expensive tariff for calls and mobile phone internet use.
WE have a right as subscribers. These companies have an obligation to provide us with quality service and not at a cutthroat rate. And while we laud the effort by NATCOM at shaming these companies, we urge them to take steps forwards by dealing with them for defaulting.