How to Squeeze a Lime

Submitted by Bush Tea
Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

Life is really not as complex as many make it out to be. In the final analysis, we find ourselves existing on a big rock which is spinning wildly through space at ridiculous speed, somehow managing to (so far) miss the millions of other rocks and other objects also speeding randomly through the same damn space.

Continue reading

LIME FLOW and DAVID

Submitted by David Weekes

Dear Mrs. Sealy,
I write with reference to your response to my matter at caption – your reference #  4/14/20 (447). The reason that I have written is because i am so absolutely disappointed by your findings.

Miss Emily Ronalds, the Abbey School circa 1965 taught using the Royal Reader series (You should know it well, you attended that institution) She once told our class a story of “The Fox who was guarding the chickens” and these many years hence I am unfortunately reminded of this anecdote.

Continue reading

IS LIME Exempt from the Laws of Barbados? Even the Barbados Courts Can’t Constrain Them!

Submitted by David Weekes
LIME customer service questioned.

LIME customer service questioned.

I would be grateful if you would publish this for me.

Last year around September 26th 2014 after going to Surepay to pay a bill, a conversation with a Surepay attendant led me to review all my bills and services with LIME. Suffice it to say, I found that I had overpaid LIME close to$100,000 over the past 10 years for phone lines that had been withdrawn for close to five years, other services I no longer had, data plans that were oversized, even though I had writing for 7 years asking for them to be properly sized and a number of issues that form 11 pages in an affidavit.

Continue reading

LIME’s Operations Must be AUDITED

News out of Jamaica this week is that LIME has to pay Digicel more than J$1.5 billion dollars for wrongly withholding money for calls from LIME’s fixed line subscribers to Digicel mobile phones. This is not the first time the regulators have had to arbitrate to force telecommunications companies in the region to do the honest thing. All the while LIME, Digicel and the others push the message of being good corporate citizens.

Have we, Barbadian consumers, ever wondered who is championing our rights? In the same way LIME and Digicel who are always at each other’s throats to demand their rights – what about the consumers? The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and other bodies have been created with supporting legislation to safeguard consumer interest as well as the Utilities but one gets the impression after several years that the system is not responding to citizens in the same way it does for the utilities.  What are consumers to do in the circumstances? Our politicians have no motivation to change anything because they are puppets of these corporate marauders. We have a non existent consumer body. Our citizens are lazy and see no need to forcefully demonstrate against the system. Some will say we deserve being chaffed.

Continue reading

Vote NO to Cable & Wireless Columbus Merger

The Fair Training Commission (FTC) is advising on its website that on the 24 November, 2014 an application was received from Cable & Wireless Communications Plc and Columbus International Inc seeking permission to merge the local subsidiaries (C&W and LIME) in Barbados in accordance with Section 20 (7) of the Fair Competition Act.

Pursuant to its remit the FTC has invited “all service providers, businesses, representatives of consumer groups, non-governmental organisations, residential consumers and all other parties with an interest in this matter, to submit their comments on the merits or demerits of the proposed merge”.

The FTC has attracted strong criticism from the general public because it is perceived as an entity that is pro utilities in its rulings. The public has an opportunity to participate in an online survey under the cloak of anonymity – see survey as well as to share concerns about the proposed merger of LIME and C&W in Barbados.

Barbados Underground is firmly of the view a merger of the two entities will bring monopoly into play, again. Further, it makes a mockery of the decision to deregulate the local market which has allowed Digicel and other players to introduce competition to the local market. We therefore vote NO to the proposed merger.

C&W FLOW Merger: All Eyes on the Regulator

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Chairman of Cable & Wireless Sir Richard Lapthorne

Chairman of Cable & Wireless Sir Richard Lapthorne

It may not have the blessing of regional regulators and even consumers at this stage, but shareholders of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), the parent of LIME, today voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger with Columbus International Inc., operator of the consumer brand, Flow” – Barbados Today

Once again the former colonial masters – in the form of the CWC shareholders – are seeking to put their former slaves – in the form of the regulators of the various Caribbean countries – back in shackles. How else is one to interpret the words of CWC’s Chairman Sir Richard Lapthorne when he sees it as a foregone conclusion that, if the shareholders in Britain – which it takes an 8.5 hour flight to get to – have voted for this juggernaut,  the regulators here must only ask how high when the shareholders say to jump.

I find it an affront to the dignity and intelligence of the people of the Caribbean that he could come to such a conclusion without any of the regulators having made a decision. In Britain there are still persons who think that Barbados is part of Jamaica, and I have a big problem with that.

Continue reading

Cable & Wireless Tied to Government Surveillance Program

 the latest documents reveal the actual names of the cables the NSA and GCHQ had access to as of 2009 as well as their “egress” speed—the volume of data that the agencies could pull from the cables.

...the latest documents reveal the actual names of the cables the NSA and GCHQ had access to as of 2009 as well as their “egress” speed—the volume of data that the agencies could pull from the cables...

The news Cable & Wireless has acquired Columbus has generated a lot of discussion across the Caribbean. How it translates in Barbados – if the Fair Training Commission agrees – the local Internet/broadband market will revert to a monopoly with a merger of LIME and FLOW. Barbadian consumers were promised competition in a deregulated telecommunications market, now we have gone full circle. One wonders therefore what is the purpose of the Fair Trading Commission.

There is another reason to be sceptical of Cable & Wireless.

According to a report in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the telecommunications company Cable & Wireless—now a subsidiary of Vodafone—“actively shaped and provided the most data to GCHQ surveillance programs and received millions of pounds in compensation.”

The relationship was so extensive that a GCHQ employee was assigned to work full time at Cable & Wireless (referred to by the code name “Gerontic” in NSA documents) to manage cable-tap projects in February of 2009. By July of 2009, Cable & Wireless provided access to 29 out of the 63 cables on the list, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the data capacity available to surveillance programs…

It’s not clear from the documents whether any of the 63 cable taps on the GCHQ list are NSA-provided, though a number of them have US landfalls—including Pacific cables connecting from the US to Japan and China and a number of cables serving the Caribbean, South, and Central America.

Read full text

LIME eBilling

Image

Submitted by Anthony Davis

LIME is assuming that every household has a computer or smartphone. There are many people who cannot afford any of the two. There are also the poor, the needy, and the vulnerable, and many old age pensioners who will NOT be able to pay any additional fees at this time. This seems to me to be the first of LIME’s volleys as the new monopoly in the telecommunications sector in Barbados!

I don’t think that the FTC should allow LIME to take such a unilateral step!

Submitted by Anthony Davis LIME is assuming that every household has a computer or smartphone. There are many people who cannot afford any of the two. There are also the poor, the needy, and the vulnerable, and many old age pensioners who will NOT be able to pay any additional fees at this time. This seems to me to be the first of LIME's volleys as the new monopoly in the telecommunications sector in Barbados! I don't think that the FTC should allow LIME to take such a unilateral step!

STOP LIME!

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Donville Inniss - Minister of Commerce, and International Business going with the FLOW

Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce, and International Business going with the FLOW

Minister of Commerce Danville Inniss says he is not troubled by the proposed merger of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International Inc., which trade here as LIME and FLOW respectively. However, an issue which is of great importance and should be addressed, he said, was the lack of regulation of all services provided by telecommunications companiesBarbados Today

Minister Inniss, you need not be “distracted by the talk around the LIME and Columbus merger” because you already know how your bread is buttered. You must remember – which you in this Government seldom do – the poor, the needy and the vulnerable in our society.

Can you imagine LIME introducing per minute fees for our domestic telephone lines?

Just imagine, Mr. Minister, some old age pensioner in your constituency whose only contact with many of his/her is that telephone. Just imagine once again, one of them wanting desperately to hear another comforting voice and is standing in front of the phone wondering if he/she can afford it.

Continue reading

Cable & Wireless (LIME) Leaps for DIGICEL’s Jugular!

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Should C&W's acquisition of FLOW be stopped?

Should C&W’s acquisition of FLOW be stopped?

The battle for the number one spot in Barbados’ lucrative telecommunications market is back on. Former monopoly provider Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) today served notice that it will not ‘roll over’ and play dead while its main competitor Digicel  continues its expansion.” – Barbados Today 6 November 2014

They have billions to spend on buying out a company to obtain monopoly status, but they don’t have any money to spend on a Barbadian Call Centre which would stop people from  asking where well-known places and towns in Barbados are? We don’t need a juggernaut – especially when LIME is involved. That will bring us more headaches than when it held the monopoly before.

I find it despicable that Flow jumped into bed with LIME without even telling its workers. That’s not the way to treat workers!

The main problem here will be the number of people who will be fired, thereby putting more strain on the Government coffers, because many will claim unemployment benefits, and some will have to go cap-in-hand to the Welfare Department also. LIME is the one with the sour grapes because it lives up to its name as spelled out in its acronym. I think that the FTC should reject this proposed amalgamation!

Continue reading

LIME Disappointing

Supported Anton Brathwaite
LIME customer service questioned.

LIME customer service questioned.

My father’s LIME telephone has been out of order for the past 36 hours due to a technical fault at LIME. All telephones carried on fibre optic were out of order when the fault first started but some have been restored. I called at 10 pm Barbados time on Wednesday to report the fault to LIME Call Center but was frustrated by the responses which I got from the persons answering the phone at 1-800-804-2994. Obviously English is not the first language of the country where the call center was located at that time. I asked one of the technical assistants if he was aware of problems on the fibre optic network since my father recently had his phone switched from the old copper cable landline to fibre optic cable. Lord Have His Mercy, it was like asking him a nuclear physics question.

After several meaningless rantings, he told me that he would get a technician from Barbados to visit my father’s home. I told him that I was reporting a fault on the fibre optic cable and not the old copper cable and furthermore the LIME TV and Internet which shared services with the telephone on the fibre optic cable, were up and running so it was not necessary for anyone to visit his home. I am not technically trained but common sense told me that by a process of elimination, there was/is nothing wrong with the cable to my father’s home nor the Galaxy modem but it all had to do with LIME in-house. This was later confirmed by a Jamaican LIME technical assistant when the Call Center was switched for daytime control from wherever it was during the night to Jamaica.

Continue reading

LIME Introduces Caribsurf Emailers to Googlemail

Submitted by St.George’s Dragon

LIMELime appears to have made a botch of the transfer of their email system over to Googlemail. All users were mean to be transferred over to Googlemail as of 16th September (today) but everyone I talk to says their email is down.

Can anyone enlighten us as to what is happening and the extent of the problem?

Cable & Wireless: When is a LIME not Local?

Send info to BU by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog

Send info to BU by using the contact form at the bottom of this blog

The following was received from a trusted source and BU adds its voice to the query.

Barbados Underground

“It is alleged that a Canadian who has Barbados citizenship is living in Barbados and being paid out of Cayman and not paying a cent of taxes to the Barbados Government. Her name is apparently J*****er M*******son from Cable and Wireless and all the Executives know and is pushing it under the carpet. Maybe this is why our economy is how it is.

Please let this email address remain anonymous. But do some investigating around it. It was reported to the tax department and no one seem to have followed up on it and this individual would owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

If there information out there to clarify this matter please send to the BU confidential comment box below which can only be read by BU personnel. Continue reading

RBC Employees in the Bahamas Fear Job Losses,,,Next?

Nathaniel Beneby, head of RBC Bahamas

Nathaniel Beneby, head of RBC Bahamas

BU has been asked to highlight the fact that RBC has started to retrench workers in Bahamas. Ever since RBC acquired the assets of RBTT in 2007 interested observers have been waiting for the hammer to drop on staff as a result. When two business entities come together there is always an inevitable result.

The BU household sympathizes with those RBC employees who will likely lose jobs in this guava season BUT this is the way business (especially Big Business) operates. A recent example of significant restructuring which resulted in the loss of jobs is LIME formerly Cable&Wireless. The government of Barbados will not want to hear about RBC (banks) sending home employees at this time although there is hardly anything our banana republic governments can do to prevent it.

See link to article received from a concerned employee:

A Business Ethos of Deception…the money grab

Many years ago some questions were asked about the circumstances which led to the award of an insurance contract by the Transport Board (TB) to CGI Insurance. Although the questions were put to former Minister of Transport Rommel Marshall at the time, he or the government he represented never felt compelled to answer the taxpayers truthfully. Neither the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) have been transparent over the years about how the taxpayers business is being managed.

In Barbados as is the case in small countries where relationships run deep, it should come as no surprise that business deals and decisions are greatly influenced by ‘informal’ considerations. The fact that successive governments have resisted implementing transparency laws assures that the practice of delivering ‘favours’ has become embedded in our business ethos. This is a reality in both the public and private sectors.

Continue reading