Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Network complaints on Telcos – Top of the list in 2019 – CFM

The Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) released it 2019 Annual Report yesterday detailing the number of consumer complaints it received on the Telecommunication companies.

cfm broadband complaints network telcos

In 2019, CFM said it received a total of 11,615 valid complaints that were not resolved by the Telcos and TV operators, up by 83% from 6,330 in 2018. Over 90% of these complaints are said to be resolved. In the same year, there were 44.6 million mobile cellular subscriptions, 43.4 million on broadband, 7.1 million pay-TV subscribers and 6.5 million fixed telephone subscriptions.

Top 5 Complaints category in 2019:

  1. Network: 4922
  2. Bill and Charging: 2781
  3. Service Delivery: 1239
  4. Mobile Number Porability: 917
  5. SMS Service: 559

Top complaints by Service Provider (total):

  • U Mobile: 3235
  • Telekom Malaysia: 2346
  • Astro: 917
  • Maxis: 802
  • redONE: 763
  • YTL: 696
  • TIME dotCom: 588
  • Tune Talk: 475
  • XOX: 444
  • Celcom: 394
  • Digi: 238

Top 5 complaints by type/sub-category:

  1. Service Disruptions: 1376
  2. No 4G Coverage: 608
  3. Poor Coverage 4G/LTE: 1268
  4. Billing Dispute: 1029
  5. Porting Delay/Reject: 886


Part of the comments by CFM:

Network:  The most common root causes of this issue are the server capacity of the provider and the peering network availability. The high number of users connected at the 2017 2018 2019 same server at a certain time (peak hours) often leads to network congestion which causes degradation of network quality that will affect the quality of experience with video stalls, choppy VoIP communications, a poor web browsing experience, and frustrating online gaming performance.

We observed some dissatisfaction with the quality of service because actual service experience does not meet customer expectations based on advertisement claims despite disclaimers on network availability being disclosed in their coverage map. Other issues would be due to no proper information on network upgrade plans being shared by the service provider to the complainants that would allow them to consider porting out to another network provider.

Bill & Charging: There is a substantial increase in Rebate/refund related complaints to 446, posting an 89% increase compared to 246 complaints in 2018. Most of the complaints are related to delays due to the Service Provider’s internal processes. We observed that the industry standard timeline for a refund after an account termination is within 90 business days. Complaints were made by the complainant to CFM due to the service provider’s failure to deliver their promise as per stated in the Terms and Conditions.

MNP: Complainants were not aware of their account status before porting out to another telco such as prepaid validity has expired or post-paid account having outstanding bills or exceeded credit limit. Complainant not replying or wrongly replying to the SMS Validation from their current telco (i.e Reply ‘N’ instead of ‘Y’).

Mismatch in data storing – different NRIC or Registered Name in the database. Some MNP error may just be as simple as having a 1 digit/alphabet difference which causes the request to be rejected.

Non-fulfilment of contract obligations to their current telco as well as having a supplementary number account.

Service Delivery: Faulty customer device or customer premises equipment were among complaints received.

SMS Service: SMS complaints were on Mobile Content Services such as gambling, unsubscribed or promotional SMS from the external content provider including telco, scam and peer to peer spam.

CFM’s achievements in whole 365 days of 2019 include:

  • 5 bureau meetings
  • issuance of 2 caution notice
  • produced standard complaint evaluation checklist
  • produced 2 “comprehensive report on specific consumer issue
  • 21 Engagements with SP & MCMC on Complaint Handling Management
  • 3 events

CFM consist of members from the Telcos, TV operators, non-governmental organization (NGO) and representatives from the public.

The current Chairperson of the consumer group is Datin Mohana Mohariff from Telekom Malaysia (TM), a major Internet service provider in Malaysia while the Deputy Chairperson is Mohamad Yusrizal Dato’ Hj. Yusoff from Kedah Consumer Association (Cake), representing the consumers.

There are 58 CFM members consisting of 38 representatives from the Consumer side including from NGOs, Individuals and Universities and the remaining members represent 20 service providers in Malaysia.

CFM, established and designated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is tasked with, amongst others, supposedly to protect consumer interest in Malaysia.

CFM is reachable by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or by calling CFM toll-free number 1-800-18-2222.

[Download PDF]– CFM Annual Report 2019

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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