– GT&T invokes PUC
Many Cellink customers have been receiving text messages on their mobile phones inviting them to return calls to a number that appears to have been trying to reach the customers.
More often than not the messages would read, “I keep getting a busy signal when I try to call you. Please call me.” When the Cellink customer attempts to call the number he or she is directed to a voice messaging centre.
On Thursday, Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, Yog Mahadeo, said that this is one of the things that are hurting the company.
He said that he has received hundreds of calls from Cellink customers informing the company about the text messages. One striking feature is that all the calls come from Digicel phones.
GT&T has since written to the Public Utilities Commission complaining about this development which he feels is another effort by his competitor to earn revenue.
Digicel Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Dean, said that he was aware of the issue and that GT&T had filed a complaint with the PUC.
He said that the PUC has given Digicel 14 days to respond. He insisted that his company is not involved. To suggest that Digicel is doing this to make money is ludicrous.
But Mr Mahadeo explained that every time a caller completes the call to the number that caller must pay Digicel, the company to which the call is made. Mathematically, this could provide a windfall, he said.
There are some 300,000 Cellink customers and if each day a large number of them receive a text to return a call, and they do, then the payment to Digicel is substantial.
One thousand recipients of such calls making one call to the Digicel number could contribute $30,000. Some people called repeatedly after they received the text.
But Mr Dean holds the view that these are nuisance text messages and that people who receive the texts should report them to the police. “That is the obvious thing to do.”
One of the people who responded to a text message described the issue as “big time gangstering”. He received the text message from 674-7307.
“This type of skullduggery can run into millions of dollars. It is a deliberate attempt to defraud the people of Guyana,” he said.
There was the woman who believed that the text message had come from an aunt, who was ill. The woman said that she called the number 665-0591 repeatedly and kept getting the voice messaging centre.
Other people got text messages from 684-9667 and they too thought that relatives were trying to reach them.
Mr Mahadeo said that he has advised the Cellink subscribers to send the numbers from which the messages come to his head office. “Please do not be alarmed. We are going to take action.”
The text messages were flowing all day yesterday and there seemed to be no end in sight.
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