Cell phone providers sell customers services they can't use, Ombudsman says

Cell phone providers sell customers services they can’t use, Ombudsman says

According to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, wireless carriers are not providing adequate coverage and are selling consumer products they cannot use.

A report released today shows that mobile phone complaints to the Ombudsman’s office have increased sharply over the past two years, although the overall number of complaints has fallen.

The Bureau received 63,000 complaints about mobile phones during this period.

The report includes examples of people stuck in an emergency with no cell phone service.

“People come with an idea of ​​what they think they want and are being sold products that they may not want, need or understand,” said Telecom Industry Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert.

Some people living in high-risk emergency areas told the Ombudsman that during emergencies they lost all communication lines and had difficulty restoring phone service.

“During our outreach, 10 rural consumers told us they were experiencing significant delays in restoring their wireless service following a natural disaster,” the Ombudsman’s report reads.

“Some consumers said that even after these delays, their service was less reliable than before the disaster.”

The report shows that the use of phones has changed over the past decade.

People are now using smartphones for banking, two-factor authentication, doctor appointments, directions, and emergency alerts.

Ms Gebert said this means reliable access to the network is more important than ever.

“It moves from a sense of helplessness that some people feel when they don’t have it every day to a matter of life and death when we’re in a natural disaster situation,” she said.

Cynthia Gebert wants companies to listen to what customers really want and need.(delivered)

rural black spots

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