Cable & Wireless Jamaica, 99.9% evil

The other day I bumped into a friend of mine who was in a hurry to get to the Cable and Wireless office before they close. During our conversation she explained to me how Cable and Wireless made her switch her pre-paid home phone service into a new plan where there are monthly charges.

She explained that the Cable and Wireless representative called her at home and told her about a new plan the company had for the pre-paid home phone and made it sound as if there was not a choice between sticking to the current plan where she pay no monthly fees but uses the line for her DSL service which she pays $2000 something monthly. The new plan that was forced on her would see her paying an additional $1500 a month, what does she get for the additional charges? I didn’t ask, but I do know that her cell phone which is hooked up to the “BIGGER BETTER NETWORK” satisfies all her telephone needs. She only has the land line for internet services.

Anyway after doing my own research apparently the new arrangement is mandatory. I came across this excerpt from the Jamaica Star website:

“Effective today, under the new terms of service, which were advertised in the press for the past few days, prepaid customers must pay a monthly subscription fee of at least $600 by the 27th of each month. Customers who fail to meet this deadline will be given 10 days to do so, after which they will not be able to make or receive calls.

Following this, if the account is inactive for 15 days, customers will have the option of paying $1500 to reactivate the service. But, if that fee is not paid within the 15-day period, the service will be disconnected and the customer will have to apply for post-paid service if they want to keep using the fixed line service.”

They told her they couldn’t remove the service. She insists on them switching her back to the original plan and they told her that they couldn’t do it and she would need to instead go down to the branch office to have the issue sorted out. As i said earlier research found that it was a new arrangement. it Appears the once much hyped home phone services was a bait and switch ploy.

This story is not new to me because it’s the kind of story distinctive of Cable and Wireless. They strong arm and miss-inform the customers into new services and then refuse take them out of the plans they were tricked into taking.

A couple years ago my aunt got a phone call from a Cable and Wireless Rep who she said was in Trinidad or Tobago. She said they rep told her about the great DSL service deal that they were offering. After explaining to the ‘nice girl”( my aunts words) that her computer was out of commission and was planning on buy a new one for her just turn teenage daughter (my cousin) she would be happy to sign up for the new service after she buy the computer.

The next month my aunt was hit with a bill for monthly, new service for DSL. This is for a person who does not even have a working computer and this was explained to the rep. Again as in the first story above I she called Cable and Wireless to have them remove the feature from her home phone. They refused to remove the service. I was personally peeved when I saw her holding a bill in her hand while clutching the phone to speak to a rep, then trying to explain that this was all wrong. When she was telling me the story and at the same time getting ready to go their Half-Way-Tree office to have a feature she never asked for taken off her phone. It hurt me personally to see her being taken for a ride by such an evil company.

Just imagine she has to use her time, go through traffic in a blazing sun, join a long line to clear up nothing short of criminal entrapment by a bully company like Cable and Wireless. These two are people were customers that Cable and Wireless turned into victims.

The set up is the call from the Rep who lay the trap of miss-information and forced coerce into accepting what one does not want or need. A great part of phone call is a looming threat of loosing the service if you do not accept the new terms. God forbids you wise up before the bill hit you like a freight train and call them back to have the new “plan” or “package” removed from your phone they give you a story that they can not reverse they switch. If you insist as most people often do then they tell you that you must go down to the branch office to sort out the matter.

After one think about taking time off from work to go into one of their offices to join a possible long crawling line you will get frustrated and give up. I believe the real plan is to frustrate you into accepting new trap. It should be just as easy reversing the switch as it was taking you off the original plan.

If there was a support group for a person who has been wronged by Cable and Wireless, similar to support groups for drug addicts, alcoholics or abused women. I can imagine sitting in a similar group. This one being for customers of Cable and Wireless raising my hand because I have something to say.

“I-I, I too have a Cable and wireless pre-paid cell phone and I am a victim of their hawkish ways”

Now one would ask why I would use their service knowing all that I know. The phone I have with this number is one I have had for a long time and I don’t want to change numbers( by the way I think I remember seeing somewhere in the media where you can hop from one network to the other and take your # with you. I will have to look into that and switch to a Digicel phone). —So how was I victim? Well my brother has a Digicel phone which is his main phone but he also has a Cable and Wireless. Unlike him I can not afford two phones even pre-paid. Similar to my own situation the Cable and Wireless number has historic importance in terms of communiqué.

Anyway he told me about the great experience he had with their “Yaad and Abroad” plan for pre-paid customers who want to call the USA, Canada and the UK. It costs $999 plus an additional $99 that they tell you about when you are activating the service. I signed up for the plan and made a few calls. I don’t remember how much minutes I had but it was about 200 and something for overseas and a similar amount for local calls. I am not a heavy user of phone. I called one number overseas and using less than 5 % of my total minutes. I remember calling the same number twice. One time it was a machine and the second time I got to speak briefly to the person I was calling.

A couple days later I wanted to make really important call. It’s not very often that I make urgent calls but it was one of those times. After dialing the number I was greeted by the message:

“Your account has been suspended………….”

I was puzzled. I just signed up for this plan that I thought was a good plan, only now to be blocked from making calls. I called Cable and Wireless and they said that because it’s a new month I would need to re-charge my account with another $1000. I couldn’t believe it. I just activate the plan a couple days ago and yes in was nearing the end of the month.

No one explained to me that I will lose all my minutes each calendar month. They advertise that you have X foreign minutes, Y local minutes and a couple of text messages. Without using even a fraction of my money they swept it all away like nothing. I told them to cancel the service and give me back the regular plan I was on before. I felt like my $1000 was flush down the toilet. I am not one to curse and behave badly but yes I was very upset. $1000 is a lot for me.

Over the past couple months I have been getting a few text messages from Cable and Wireless and it seems all of them are geared toward driving customers away or simply to paint themselves negatively.

First – The measly $100 free credit they give me a month can only be used when you call within their network. Basically I can not call a Digi or My phone with this “FREE” credit. Now tell me is that FREEdom?

And second text advises me that I can only get the “FREE” credit after I top up my phone. Basically you have to pay for the “FREE” credit.

I think to be reasonable we can all understand that this is a company in business to make profits. I heard they said they are losing money from the pre-paid home phone service because people where not topping up their home phone. No mention was made that a great deal of people with home phone is using it for the DSL service they provide and those internet service plans range between $2000 to $4000 a month depending on the speed. I am sure people with home phones receive calls even if they don’t top up and that’s money in Cable and Wireless pocket.

I know its possible for some people who don’t make a lot of calls to live on the $100 free credit a month without ever topping up, but please don’t give me $100 then tell me I have to spend it back with you.

I think I am going to write a letter to the Office of Utility Regulation (OUR) to complain about all the atrocities done by C&W to me and people I know. If only the OUR would grow from a toddler to an adult with some teeth. It comes as no surprise that Digicel beat Cable and Wireless right in their backyard where they use to have a monopoly. Screwing the customers is not going to make C&W any better but just breeds more resentment.

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~ by RB on July 3, 2008.

6 Responses to “Cable & Wireless Jamaica, 99.9% evil”

  1. HEAR HEAR brotha. I too was gonna do a write up about these biatches. I too have the pre-paid homephone but for DSL net. I don’t even use the phone, just get a few calls per month and now this. Then t think the option -> might not even be so good either. Everyone just taking advantage of us. CWJ have even cut employees income too. wat da hell are those thieves up to?

  2. mi si where dem say de $600 top up a month will count as call credit.I hope yu still do yu write up bount dem. the voices of condemnation of dem thuggery can not be too load

  3. We need more than OUR. We need an advocacy organization whose only goal is to track these policies, give immediate critique of their new “plans” as they are advertised, and help customers figure out how to do get their voices heard. Where are all those people graduating from UWI with degress in mass-com? Dem all gone work fi digicel?/

  4. […] We have not heard a peep out of cable and wireless who did promotions for Asafa Powell. I am sad to say I own a cable and wireless phone. Yes I am ashamed. For the 10 people who read my blog already know my rants about cable and wireless “Cable and Wireless is 99.9% evil. […]

  5. 100% evil mi seh, NOT 99.9% Right ya now de way how mi hate Cable & Wireless (which should have been rightfully named Careless & Worthless) I don’t even want their service even if its up for free– telegram & letta mi prefer sen dan use dem ‘services’! By far the most evil company to ever set foot in Jamaica. Digicel is in my blood right now…all wen dem a charge mi $100 a minute mi naaw switch to frowsy SOUR LIME…. BIGGER & BETTER, MUCH BIGGER & BETTER, MY DIGICEL MATTERS TO ME!!!!!!

  6. Jamaican Girl, what exactly did they do to you.

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