Popular talk show host, Kem Jones on Monday staged a one-man protest outside of the Granby Street office of FLOW in the heart of the city to protest against a hike in price for its broadband service.
Jones who said he was taking action in his capacity as a Grenadian citizen and a customer of FLOW is appalled against the imposition of a varying late fee for bill payment and an impending EC$20 increase in the cost of the broadband service to customers to take effect next month.
He spoke of taking issue with the decision of the telecommunications service provider to add expenses to customers’ bill without holding appropriate consultation with them to discuss the reason for the increase and what the monies would be used for.
“FLOW sent an email to inform me that effective November 1st an additional EC$20 will be added to (the cost of) my broadband package…I signed up for a package and I know how much I am to be charged at the end of the month.
“…In my opinion I believe if I sign up for a service, you (FLOW) provide me with the service and I pay you for the service that you provide me with. You (FLOW) should not be charging me with an extra fee if I come one or two days late in paying my bill. That was not in my contractual arrangement with FLOW.
“I am saying that FLOW is doing this (increasing the package cost) illegally, without consulting me or the customers…in my opinion FLOW should at least tell me what they would be doing with that EC$20…there must be a reason or an explanation. Why not EC$1, EC$2 or EC$5 why EC$20?
According to Jones, FLOW should be called upon to justify the reason for EC$20 increase in the fees.
He said: “ …Things are already hard and I believe there is a need for reconsideration and consultation”.
Jones who is also the host of a popular radio talk show, “The Eagle’s Eye” called on the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (NTRC), which is responsible or regulating the newly liberalised Telecommunications market in Grenada in collaboration with its parent company the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), to intervene in the current issue.
He charged that the regulatory body “is sitting and not doing what they are supposed to do to protect the customers and the people of Grenada Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”
Jones called on NTRC to “at least seek my interest and the interest of the Grenadian people (because) we are getting a raw deal here…”.
“…FLOW should not be seen as the authority in Grenada who could do what they want when they want”, he argued.
THE NEW TODAY on Tuesday morning contacted Coordinator of NTRC, Lawrence Samuel, who confirmed that some time ago the organisation received correspondence from FLOW in the form of a “notification” outlining the price increase.
Samuel said the NTRC has “written to the company indicating that permission for the increase has to be given by his outfit and that the commission has been seeking guidance on how to proceed on the issue from its parent body ECTEL.
“We are still awaiting the determination from ECTEL,” he added.
Efforts by this newspaper to contact FLOW on the issue proved futile with no one willing to offer an official statement on behalf of the company.