Consumer advocate reacts to CWC takeover
Consumer rights advocate Malcolm Gibbs-Taitt is hoping that the new owners of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) will do better than the “pathetic” service that CWC provided to its customers.
The American telecommunications and television company Liberty Global has announced a US$7.4 million takeover of CWC.
“My only wish is . . . that the service meted out to customers will improve because over the years the service that consumers have endured from Cable & Wireless has been pathetic to say the least,” Gibbs-Taitt said.
The activist did not hide his dislike for CWC, painting it as a company that was slow to respond to its customer’s needs and unwilling to resolve issues that consumers faced.
Gibbs-Taitt warned that the Fair Trading Commission must be stern in its regulation of Liberty Global, charging that the regulator had become laid-back in its approach after Columbus International Inc entered the market.
“I think we have witnessed some of that reign being breached because of the inclusion of Flow before it was merged with Cable & Wireless. That to me was not a good sign,” he said.
“I am also hoping that some of the issues that are yet unresolved will be resolved irrespective of the new ownership. I hope that will not be interfered with.”
Liberty Global has acknowledged that there is strong competition in the telecommunications industry, but Chief Executive Officer Michael Fries was terse when asked about over-the-top content providers and Digicel’s 4G network.
“Digicel is a tremendous competitor and we like that kind of challenge,” was all Fries would say.
His counterpart at Digicel (Barbados) Limited Conor Looney seemed unperturbed, telling Barbados TODAY that it was “business as usual” for his company.
“We are happy with the progress our Digicel Play fibre to the home service is making in Barbados and our mobile customers continue to respond positively to our best value offers and fastest 4G network. For Digicel, it’s business as usual,” Looney said.
Liberty Global has promised to develop key partnerships here to provide targeted contents and market specific contents for the tourism market, as well as Wi-Fi hotspots.
This has caught the attention of telecommunication analyst Hallam Hope, who said the potentials were tremendous.
Hope told Barbados TODAY that such a move would be a significant boost to the tourism sector and the local economy given the company’s already strong presence in the broadband and video markets.
“It might be an opportunity for Government to see how they can partner with this company in the whole area of pushing their tourism marketing,” Hope suggested.