The Adrian Loveridge Column – FLOW Continues to Money Grab in Tough Economic Times!

Tourism, like so many other sectors relies on efficient telecommunications. Bearing in mind the ongoing deficiencies that plague our largest provider, it seems mind boggling that they have announced price hikes before these numerous problems are effectively addressed.

Our own experiences include waiting almost two years to finally have a fibre optic connection – every possible excuse was proffered during this time, with the final obstacle being that trees on our neighbour’s land were preventing line-of-sight access to the relays or repeaters. We contacted Light and Power and within a week or so, a private contractor professionally cut down and mechanically turned the obscuring trees into agricultural chips.

Long standing challenges include the loss of points that at one time could be turned into American AAdvantage miles, effectively devaluing the promised benefits.

Then the inability to print off a receipt when settling bills through the payment portal.

The change of access to voicemail where before any missed calls were greeted by beeps. But now you are forced to dial the retrieval number and enter a PIN code every time to ascertain if in fact there are any new messages.

Having just spent almost three weeks in the UK, Cable and Wireless make accessing mail from overseas close to impossible. There is no dedicated site to access Flow Barbados email and the only way I could finally check my messages was to login via the Flow Cayman site.

And finally, finding charges for overseas calls on bills, when for decades, we have been paying a monthly charge for MIS debarring.

Of course, a lot of the aggravation could be avoided if the company bothered to inform its customers prior to these changes, but this does not seem to be in the declared mission statement of the ‘Action in Satisfaction’ campaign where the company has spent hundreds of thousands of Dollars of users monies trying to persuade us that improvements will in fact take place.

Repeated calls to the ‘Customer Experience’ number, waiting for indeterminate time hanging on the phone, as in the case of the nefarious charges. The latest pretext after more than two months is that we are ‘still investigating’ the problem. How can it possibly take so long to credit the cost of calls, where the user has been paying for an added feature to not appear on the bills for nearly thirty years?

Perhaps most aggravating of all is that since 1989 the company has held a $1,000 deposit, which, unlike other utility providers, has not paid a single cent in interest.

Sadly, without any effective consumer rights body, the situation is not likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Here we are in these critical economic times and rather than help its many struggling customers, their action is to further extract monies in rate hikes that can be ill-afforded or possibly justified given the delivered level of ‘service’.

At the end of the day, it is us who will shoulder the cost of the endless name and signage changes, advertising campaigns, which bear no relation to reality and management who do not feel obligated to respond to the people paying their inflated salaries.

27 comments

  • @Adrian

    I’m glad to see in your senior years your finally waking up to life in the sphere of TURD WORLD COMMERECE, get used to it as it’s going to get worse.

    Like

  • Tired of Politricks and Endemic Corruption

    @ Will Coyote

    You have hit the name on the head.

    Whether it is Bartel, C & W, LIME, FLOW or Digicel it is the same shit to fleece the locals whilst the fat cats get fatter.

    Barbados the island where everything is broken with people way too stupid and proud to admit.

    Like

  • What is the role of the regulator?

    Why has a well educated society not given rise to a strident consumer advocacy organization?

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ Wliey
    @TPEC
    @ David Bu

    Please reread Adrian’s article. It is the First World Corporations that we have sold local companies to that are the source of the problem. They are all profit motivated. They do not care a damn about the disruption they cause to local consumers.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ David BU

    There has been a game change.
    Do you not notice how experimental new technology is applied before all the bugs are ironed out?
    Do you not notice how often the companies change hands and names?
    Value is financialised . There is really no real increase in the physical output of the companies.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ Adrian

    Good article. You have articulated the real difficulties which frustrate the growth of local companies. It is a pity that we, the local decision makers, compound the problems by first not understanding what it is we have to deal with.

    Like

  • @Bernard

    If you search BU’s pages who will find several blogs which highlight concerns about the ease with which telecommunications companies were given licenses to operate and quickly sold to LIME FLOW. In a few cases the deals were completed before a general election.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ David BU at 10 :34 AM

    I remember only too well. I hope you are not blaming the Political Class for these. The semi-independent regulatory bodies have a holding role in all this. Their primary responsibility is to the consumer.

    Like

  • @Bernard

    The functionaries on these quasi government bodies are political appointees?

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ David BU at 11 :53 AM

    Quite true.
    But they are expected to carry out the objectives of the institution as outlined in the law establishing the institution. They were selected, based on their professional competence. Their second obligation is therefore to their professions, and the ethics governing their professions. Their reputations are always at risk.

    The Board fees are hardly enough to pay for petrol ,so there is no monetary benefit.

    Like

  • And FLOW is not the only international company fleecing Barbadians. Anyone wish to lead off a discussion on the customer service and rate charges at the banking fraternity in Barbados? Don’t get me started.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Adrian Loveridge,
    Why are you still relying on “CARIBSURF” for email services in 2018?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Why has a well educated society not given rise to a strident consumer advocacy organization?

    Why…
    Because we are Bajans that’s why.
    Educated yes, but still Bajans at the end of the day.

    Go into any FLOW office today and you will still see people waiting to apply for FLOW services in earshot of other people complaining about FLOW’s disservice.

    Like

  • @Bernard

    Oftentimes it is about status and prestige of serving on a Board.

    Like

  • We have Ozone for example that is trying and seems to be failing. What are the alternatives to FLOW and Digicel?

    Like

  • Why does a strident educated country prefer to stach their money in banks and collect nickles and dimes than rather do like international countries used all that money collectively to buy or build their own sh.it
    The international companies barbados invite at their doorstep because bajans have refused to learn the art of investing in their own like these outside investors do
    Crying belly ache about them is not the solution but beating these investors collectively at their game is the answer.

    Like

  • If you search BU’s pages you will find several blogs which highlight concerns about the ease with which telecommunications companies were given licenses to operate and quickly sold to LIME FLOW.

    David

    An interesting observation.

    I recall in May 2013 when Columbus Communications International (CCI) began operations in this region, providing internet, television, residential and business telephone services to Barbados and a few other Caribbean islands, under its FLOW brand.

    Based on reports, CCI’s management was boasting of the success FLOW had achieved 6 months after launching its operation in Barbados, having hired 200 employees, promising that at least 50% of households throughout the island would have access to their services by December 2013 and outlining their plans to invest US60M to improve the delivery of these services to residents and businesses.

    However, against the background of this reported success, in November 2014, CCI accepted a proposal from Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) to purchase CCI for US3.025B, inclusive of debt.

    On Friday, March 25, 2015, The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) gave a conditional approval for CWC to acquire CCI and FLOW in the Caribbean.

    If you are interested, the following link is the FTC’s summary report, which also outlines the 14 conditions for the LIME/FLOW merger.

    https://www.ftc.gov.bb/library/2015-04-30_summary_report_cwc_columbus.pdf

    Like

  • To this day there is a stick that offends the nostrils concerning the Karib deal. There Cingular…

    Like

  • Ozone’s pricing makes them uneconomical for all but the casual user. So yes, it is either FLOW or DIigicel, but we only need them for internet access, certainly not for email, entertainment or any other internet dependent service.

    Like

  • Fearplay, all over the world banks seem to operate to a beat of a different drum. In the Caribbean where economies are fragile it seems the banks will continue to hold the upper hand.

    Like

  • This is true but you observe the strategy is to bundle services to command better rates? This is where the regular must intervene. FLOW has an advantage given their legacy position and the inherited physical infrastructure.

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  • True, but we have to learn to tell them , thanks, but no thanks, keep wunna bundles. Give me what I want or I gine do widout.
    That is the only way smaller players will survive and flourish. Of course someone will have to protect them from getting picked as soon as they get ripe, but dat body ain’t the FTC.

    After all this time you still got faith in the FTC?
    You can easily get “Internet Only” from Digicel but FLOW gives you the runaround. Wuh FTC can do bout dat?

    Like

  • Do without?

    You must be joking right?

    We are a people addicted to what is popular.

    Like

  • Now if we are unable to cut we eye at the people’s things and learn to do without, why are we complaining about price gouging and money grabbing? It makes no sense complaining for 6 days and then brekking down their doors on the seventh.

    Buying and begging at the same time? How dah gine look?

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    De ole man said he was gine left dis alone causing my name pun all de entries for resent posts.

    And a feller Doan mind short posts but whuloss de old man does talk nuffffffff!

    The blogger who submitted thus article writes adroitly

    “…Sadly, without any effective consumer rights body, the situation is not likely to improve in the foreseeable future…”

    I say adroitly because he finds himself unable to really write anything thst even approximates stating how he really feel about the Rapists that Lime e.g am are as the fvck the natives royally

    Nor can he speak of the travesty ghat is the Fear Trading Commission which is managed by balls less functionaries who are bought loch stock and barrel by the latest model of Samsung phone coupled by discounted family plans

    With all due respect to the yeoman service rendered by Our Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch the fact remains that many of these gravestones that the blogger speaks about DO NOT EVER GET ESCALATED TO the level of the Luminary.

    This is at the diurnal operational level and unless a Chairman want to be labelled as a micromanage who is going above and beyond his remit, Sandra and she peeple going continue to suck pooch.

    Note how Loveridge after posting this article can’t come back to reinforce or clarify a single point!

    Because his dissenting WILL BE RESPONDED TO BY SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES MYSTERIOUSLY DESCENDJNG ON HIS ESTABLISHMENT

    We are a servile people, a sheeple who will suffer interminably under massahs yoke of oppression without uttering one word

    However if a nigger gets de keys we going rebel like Bussah

    And this is what Lime and Digicel albinocentrists from the very heartland and birthplace of pure exploitation understand and rely on

    Not a feller among you nor a lady don’t have the balls to stand up to their believed imperial right and say “THIS IS BARBADOS” in the same tone and with the same intent that leonidus said “THIS IS SPARTA” in that movie 300!

    It takes balls to say to Lime “this is my country and you nor anyone of your ilk will not rape a feller again under any form or embodiment of physical mental or economic or technological enslavement.

    But then again, unless wunna radical like de ole man OR, LIKE DE HONOURABLE BLOGMASTER DOES SAY RECENTLY, “oppose just for the sake of opposing ” wunna going do just like Loveridge, say some diplomatically correct words about the rape and non equity of service and then shut to badword up

    Note dat de ole man did not say what Enuff of Lorenzo said and I quote “STFU”

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    Your assistance please Honourable Blogmaster with an item

    Like

  • ” In $800-million deal, Air Canada Centre becomes Scotiabank Arena ”

    http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/torontos-air-canada-center-gets-new-name-scotiabank-arena

    Like

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