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.