News : Phone Troubles Hit TSTT Customers
Oct 15, 2014 -- Untold numbers of pre-paid and post-paid customers of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) were yesterday unable to make calls or use mobile data services after their accounts were erroneously charged. TSTT said this was due to a "software issue" related to "specialised applications" purchased from an overseas billing service provider.
An official at TSTT yesterday told Newsday the company first got word of the problem at about 8 am yesterday when calls started coming in to its call centre. TSTT’s technicians started "trouble shooting" to determine if the problem was isolated to a few customers or was part of a wider issue.
The company later issued a statement, both to the media and on its bmobile Facebook page, advising that it was, "Investigating an issue that is causing an incorrect charge to be registered against customers’ accounts whenever a data-related service is being used on a mobile device. As a consequence, customers’ credits are being exhausted resulting in them being unable to make mobile calls or use mobile data."
Dozens of persons took to Facebook and other social media sites to express their frustration over the matter. Among them was Facebook user, Irwin De Gannes, who posted a comment in response to TSTT’s first statement.
Using a hashtag, De Gannes said the problem began before six am yesterday and he asked why, when some people "don’t have such (social media options) to contact TSTT," was the company not using "SMS message or news announcements" to provide regular updates.
While declining to say how many customers were affected by the issue with the "specialised" billing software used by TSTT, the official told Newsday the problem was resolved around noon yesterday.
"Our technicians, working with the overseas billing service provider’s technicians, were able to resolve the problem at approximately 12 o’clock today (yesterday), the official told Newsday.
"Immediately after that," the TSTT official added, "we started working on crediting the accounts of affected customers to ensure full air-time and data credits are restored to their accounts in the shortest time possible."
Affected customers again took to social media to respond to TSTT’s announcement that the problem had been resolved. One person, going by the name Dynamix Sounds, used all-caps to ask, "NO COMPENSATION?"
Asked how likely it was that customers would be compensated, the TSTT official said, "The issue of compensation hasn’t been discussed yet. Our focus has been on correcting the issue which caused the problem, restoring service and then focusing on restoring the credits that were lost by customers. That (credit) is being quantified at this time."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago:
Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited is a large telephone and Internet service provider in Trinidad and Tobago.
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