Mobilink could be fined Rs350 million for poor service

Dawn reports:

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has found “unsatisfactory” the reply submitted by Mobilink in response to the PTA show-cause notice issued in April.

The show-cause notice said: “The non-serious and non-cooperative attitude of the Mobilink towards the determination and directions issued by the Authority from time to time tantamount to severe violations by the Mobilink of the existing regulatory framework and is therefore not acceptable to the Authority.”

Mobilink will now be attending a hearing on June 9 at the PTA headquarters in Islamabad. If Mobilink’s argument does not hold up, they could face a levy of Rs350 million or termination of their license (highly doubt that).

This is not the first time and the last time in 2003 resulted in a fine of Rs60 million which obviously didn’t yield up any improvements. If the cost of customer support (and addressing those concerns) for 2 years is greater than Rs60 million, then they could simply write it off as an operating expense. It should be urged that they are fined the full amount this time around to have a significant impact and set a precedent.

How do they still manage to have the largest subscriber base? Why haven’t any class action lawsuits been filed?

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5 Responses to “Mobilink could be fined Rs350 million for poor service”

  1. KO says:

    The Status QuoHow do they still manage to have the largest subscriber base?

    Beacuse the alternatives aren’t any better. Given that none of the companies stand out, the fact that mobilink has the biggest network is a big plus. The other companies have nothing which negate that advantage.

    Both the new entrants made a big mistake not forcing the PTA to introduce number portability at the get go. Then you would have seen Mobilink dance.

    At our company we were planning to switch over everyone to Telenor, as Mobilink is amazingly bad. So we called up telenor a few times to find out about corporate accounts, got no anwser. Checked their website for details, and it said nothing. Someone went to Telenor office, got no details there either, but got a post-paid connection to test.
    Unimpressive. Low signal strength, and calling mobilink numbers was impossible. GPRS - it worked, but barely. Pigeons would have been faster. Their service center personnel were not properly trained either. Left everyone vastly unimpressed, and we canceled the idea of switching. European standards - european double standards is more like it.

    Warid Telecom - similar story. Their website alone is reason enough not to touch them with a 10 foot pole. They seem to have updated it recently, and while its still crap, at the time of its launch and till a week onwards, it was one of the crappiest websites imaginable, with zero content and zero everything else. Even as I type this, almost all the links on their website remain broken.

  2. haq says:

    RE: The Status QuoTelenor messed up their launch in a big way. It was ironic, their marketing campaign revolved around crystal clear voice and ‘number lagay har baar, pehley bar’. It took atleast a couple of tries to get through to a Telenor number using Mobilink then. At one point I suspected Mobilink was purposely trying to sabotage Telenor’s entry into the market (Telenor to mobilink calls were fine, but the other way was a problem). Things seemed to have settled down now, having no problems with Telenor numbers.

  3. aahalai says:

    fine whinethe 350 million rupee fine is literally nothing to mobilink and you’re right when you say that they can probably write it off as an operational expense. unfortunately that is the maximum fine PTA is allowed to levy according to its own guidelines. these need to be revised so that they can implement a fine that actually has an impact on the company.

    what PTA needs to do is force these companies to introduce 10-second billing and levy a fine on the company for each call that is dropped or incorrectly routed. currently the telcos make money on basically every single call that gets disconnected… actually making it profitable for them to provide poor quality of service. number portability will only address some of the issues, but as long as all the telcos are profiting from poor QoS, there’s not going to be a significant change in mentality…

  4. chowkidar says:

    RE: fine whineGood point. I find this quite funny. Mobilink has about 3 million (taking this into consideration) active subscribers.

    Considering the levy they paid 2 years ago was for Rs60 million, it would mean they have to drop 20 calls per user on average over a period of 2 years to cover the cost of the levy (which was imposed for poor service)!

    They are probably dropping a lot more than this. During my brief vacations there, I am quite certain I experienced that many dropped calls within a month: dropped halfway during a call forcing a reinstantiation; dropped due to mobilink glitch; dropped due to static over line or poor reception; dropped due to same symptoms occuring on the other party’s line for whatever reason.

    This is retarded.

  5. BigSexyWashboardAbsAl says:

    Go Baby Take Away Their LicenseThey deserve to lose the damn license, Telenor never deserved it to start with… the only thing that Cell phone carriers see in Pakistan is how stupid the people are! I’m surprised that cell phone carriers dont try to force customers to buy cell phones directly from them and make even larger bundles of cash than they already do… specially fraud companies like Maybelink since people refuse to switch off them because:
    a) 0300
    b) everyone has it

    They drives the whole mobile phone experience into the slums for everyone because of (b) since people with good services are also slaves to Maybelink granting them a connection. I say, KICK THE BUM OUT!!!

    Also I call the company a fraud because if you say your sim or your credit is valid for x amount of time, I think there is an assumption that their fudging service would be available in that period of time too… since it’s not, they basically steal!

    Big Sexy’s Got Cha Numba!