The Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) received a total of 6,330 complaints about telecommunications service providers in 2018. This is a 33% increase compared to the total number of complaints received in 2017 (4,746 complaints).
Out of the total number of complaints received last year, mobile (cellular) related service remain the highest year to year with 2,513 complaints made.
However, despite the significant increase in the number of complaints, 88% of the issues were resolved in less than 15 days with help from CFM and the cooperation of service providers involved.
Meanwhile, high-speed broadband (HSBB) service providers recorded the highest number of increase in complaints with 2,337 complaints received in 2018 compared to just 714 complaints received in the previous year. According to CFM, the increase in complaints about HSBB services was caused by the high demand from consumers who seek HSBB services in their area.
Among the category of complaints received, network issues saw an increase of 54% with a total of 1,919 complaints received in 2018 compared to 1,247 complaints in 2017 with service disruptions and downtime being the biggest problem users have with their service providers.
Interestingly, HSBB service disruptions are the highest complaints recorded last year.
Complaints on Billing & Charging also saw an 9% increase last year compared to 2017 with the most reported issues being billing disputes, followed by unreasonable charges, rebates or refunds, blacklisted, poor billing systems, and roaming chargers.
However, the biggest problem users have with their service provider is pricing. In 2018, complaints about pricing saw a significant increase from just 33 complaints received in 2017 to a whopping 505 complaints received in 2018.
Pricing became a big issue with consumers – especially existing customers – because of new, cheaper broadband packages introduced by service providers due to the implementation of the Mandatory Service Access Pricing (MSAP) which was in effect since June last year.
“We received a lot of complaints about pricing issue and the increase in these complaints was due to attractive new packages and strategic rates offered to new customers however existing customers are dissatisfied because service provider sets out terms and conditions that are not in favour with them,” said CFM Chairman, Mohamad Yusrizal Dato’ Yusoff.
In addition, CFM received complaints about “Unfair Practice” where among the reported issues are false registration, prepaid account terminated after grace period expired and package changed without consumer consent.
The marked increase in complaints about Network and Pricing be directly attributed to the implementation of the ‘half the price and double the speed’ initiative by the government.
While the increase in broadband speed and the reduction in subscription benefits consumers in general, MCMC acknowledges that the implementation of the initiative cannot happen overnight and one the requires cooperation and consideration from various parties.