Following long hours of a network outage last Thursday, the Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) has called upon Maxis to compensate affected customers.
Maxis, which claims to offer, “Unmatched Mobile, Fixed & Satellite Connectivity, and Digital Solutions” suffered a nationwide network disruption for a couple of hours on June 30, 2022, affecting millions of customers on its 2G and 4G networks.
The Telco has not provide any detailed explanation of the network disruption and has yet to compensate all its customers for the outage.
As of March 2022, the “leader in 4G” had over 11.64 million subscribers and it made a Profit After Tax (PAT) of RM298 million between January to March this year.
CFM Chairman, Muhammad Radzillah said that consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to remain connected both socially and professionally. Any disruptions to or service outages will have a major impact on the lives of users as reflected in the comments from consumers that have flooded social media.
“More and more of us are using our devices to make calls and conduct our personal and work affairs online and from all sorts of places as well. When this incident occurred, consumers who are working from home, students who were trying to join online classes, those who urgently needed to respond to messages and even those who were trying to make payments at toll plazas, all found themselves in difficulties. Many have suffered not only inconvenience but actual losses as well and they should be compensated.”, he said.
The CFM Chairman explained that whilst CFM prefers for there not to be any down time, in instances where disruption happens, users must receive more than just an apology and a token effort at compensation. In previous cases he said, consumers suffered service outage for several hours and were only offered free SMS and in a more recent case, free data for a few hours. Compared to the loss to consumers, the cost of SMS’ is negligible whilst for users on unlimited data plans, the free data may not make much difference to them.
“As we move towards 5G these issues should be a thing of the past. Quality of service is a matter for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and I believe that they have reviewed the relevant mandatory standards not too long ago. However, what we are talking about here is more than just regulatory action but compensation for consumers who have been disadvantaged. In some jurisdictions, it may involve compensation commensurate with the loss to the consumer. Perhaps this can be a starting point for discussions between the relevant stakeholders.”, he said.
Maxis is Council Member of CFM, currently serving as Treasurer until 2023.