GT&T Chief Executive Officer Yog Mahadeo says that it costs the telephone company around $60M to replace 20,000 landline handsets every year.
GT&T is bound by law to respond to requests from its 150,000 land line customers to have their defective handsets replaced and while the company continues to do so, it has raised some issues about the provision of this particular service.
Mahadeo told Stabroek Business that while the company is by not seeking to shirk its responsibility, it is pondering whether customers with damaged instruments should be required to replace them at their own expense. He noted that the kind of instrument issued by GT&T would probably cost the customer around $4,000, and added that the ending of the company’s responsibility for replacements could create an expanded opportunity for other vendors in the local telecommunications sector. Handsets are retailed by various commercial outlets across the city and elsewhere, albeit, in modest quantities.
The need for a majority of replacements appears to arise out of phones being destroyed during domestic incidents. “It seems that when things happen people are sometimes inclined to throw the phone at each other,” Mahadeo said.
In addition to its duty to replace handset, GT&T is also required under the law to publish and distribute telephone directories to its customers free of cost; an undertaking which Mahadeo says costs the company $100 million dollars annually.