Not So Fast Digicel: Jamaican Regulator Wants Explanation on New Fee

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday June 29, 2017 – Telecommunications giant Digicel has until tomorrow to explain to Jamaican regulators its introduction of a new charge to some customers.

Effective last Thursday, Digicel imposed a prepaid maintenance fee (PMF) on customers whose monthly spend falls below $50.

However, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is not satisfied that the company followed procedure.

In a statement issued yesterday, the OUR asked Digicel to provide evidence that it had provided customers with sufficient advance notice; the exact amount to be charged; and the basis of such a charge.

The OUR noted that it received a letter dated June 23, 2017 from Digicel, advising that the purpose of the PMF is to ensure that all customers adequately contribute to the cost of operating and maintaining their accounts on its systems and networks, in circumstances where they spend less than $50 within a calendar month.

In its response to the company, the OUR said that while Digicel had updated its terms and conditions on its website with the PMF, there is no indication of when its customers were notified, if indeed they were notified at all.

The OUR also expressed its disappointment that Digicel had not notified the regulator of this new fee prior to implementation.

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