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2006-09-18 14:30:25

If At First You Don't Suceed... Fail, Fail Again

BTC can't keep the cell phones on but they have introduced Blackberry, another service they are already having problems with.

The average Bahamian does not bother. Whatever you ram down their throats, they swallow it. It may not be palatable, but they endure it nonetheless. If they have a high bill, they pay it and then complain. The powers that be know this about Bahamians and they make most of their decisions based on that fact.

Thursday, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) held a Town Meeting at the BCPOU Hall on Farrington Road. Present Chairman of BTC, Owen Bethel, tried his hardest to show some enthusiasm or pretend to be positive about what some may describe as the "lousiest" corporation in the Bahamas, if not, the world.

Bahamians have been exploited by BTC and so many were amazed but not amused by his comments. Neither were they impressed with Acting President Leon Williams' presentation.

In times past, I can remember Mr Bethel emphasising best practices and encouraging people to save their money and other good stuff that many Bahamians do not practice. So it was safe then to conclude that Mr Bethel would not be surprised if a customer of BTC wanted and even expected value for the exuberant rates and other charges by BTC.

I was present at the Town Meeting to seek answers about the lousy service customers were receiving with their GSM and TDMA phones, and if the public could expect some reduction in rates, especially since BTC was bragging about having made $32 million in profit.

The Acting President, who is not a people's person, in his arrogance took almost five minutes to give the audience a history of BTC's spending and never really addressed the question. Well I was not surprised about the answer. The public who attended this meeting, quickly realised that the Town Meeting was just a PR event and not a genuine fact finding mission.

What is so puzzling is that BTC's record is that it cannot get anything right, and because there is not a real business minded person at the leadership, then the decisions made would not make sense? TDMA was introduced; the general public never got their moneys worth. Subscribers of TDMA could only receive calls if they were driving through certain streets. That problem existed from the day it was introduced until today, many years later.

GSM was introduced, the person who was overseeing it bought a bus that could only carry 10 passengers, knowing that there was a great possibility that 100,000 persons would want to get on the bus. My question is, who could be that daft to have made those arrangements in the first place, especially if the planning was done with the future in mind.

Now they say that the problems for GSM that is "on today, off tomorrow" would be rectified by December of one of these years.

Now BTC is excited about BlackBerry, a system that has been around for at least four or five years; I stand to be corrected. How long would it be before they iron [out] all of the kinks on that? If the truth be told, TDMA has been here for many years [and] BTC never tried to correct that system. GSM came and the serious technical difficulties existed from day one, yet they have not been addressed. Now it is BlackBerry, you be the judge.

Judging from their track record, BTC will not service their mobile phones. They either don't know how or they simply do not care or both. BTC's record is to collect as much money as they can, brag about their profit and give lousy service and just like Perry Christie, promises they will fix it later. I guess after some consultation, then they will get around to it. Oh by the way, I heard that the BlackBerry is already experiencing difficulties.

After complaining, the BTC staff [worker] took my name and promised to call me. I laughed and suggested that she was just pulling my leg. She insisted she would. They haven't called yet, but I am not surprised, it's just par for the course.

By: Ivoine W. Ingraham
Source: The Nassau Guardian

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