Our phone service sucks!
A senior member of the House of Assembly has taken the major telecommunication providers to task for the quality of service they provide.
St Joseph MP Dale Marshall complained that at a time when his constituents were receiving poor cellular phone service, they were unable to have access to landline service.
The former Attorney General launched this broadside against the major telecommunication providers today in the House of Assembly while speaking on the Electronic Transcations (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
Voicing his concern at the poor quality of service being offered to owners of cellular phones by the telecommunications companies, Marshall said: “I hate to say it, but the mobile telephone service in Barbados sucks. You can hardly make a telephone call on a mobile phone except you wait sometimes ten or 15 seconds to connect with the other person. You can hardly make a mobile phone call without dropouts. As soon as you get near Groves Corner, in St George, the call drops out. Going along the West Coast the calls are in and out.
Marshall, who is an attorney, said: “It is an embarrassment for me to have to tell clients that it is not their American or British phones that are the source of the problem; it is a problem with our service here.
“The mobile telecommunications providers in Barbados rake in vast sums of money and the people of Barbados are entitled to a world class service. I do not know how I can speak more strongly about it. It is an embarrassment. The mobile phone service is almost as bad as the water service in St Joseph,” he said.
However, in terms of phone services, he noted that Barbadians had options.
“They only have one option with the Barbados Water Authority, but they have two options with cellular phones. There was a third option but that does not exist today. Any time you have a market dominated by two players, they must start to pay careful attention to the needs of the people who keep them in business. It is not just a constituency matter; it is a personal matter,” Marshall added.
The St Joseph MP also complained that Cable & Wireless, which now trades under LIME in Barbados, was unable to provide landline service to sections of rural Barbados.
“For years they have told residents from certain parts of St Joseph that they cannot have a landline service. So there are people residing in my constituency who cannot get a landline. If they cannot get a landline and they have to rely on your mobile service for heaven’s sake, give them a proper service. I am sure the Fair Trading Commission has heard these complaints,” Marshall said.