GTT has disconnected my internet service without just cause

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, due to its monopoly, treats its customers with great disdain. Thousands are at the mercy of this entity, especially those who do not live in Georgetown or the surrounding areas and therefore, are left without alternatives for internet services.

Not too long ago, I was forced to write about the shoddy service I receive from this company and only after my plight was made public did GTT offer assistance. It seems that this company revels in free publicity whether good or bad; there is no other explanation for the manner in which customers are treated.

My latest troubles started in February after I made the ‘unfortunate’ mistake of requesting an upgrade from my Bronze plan to Gold via the online platform. On February 4, I got email confirmation that my plan was changed from Bronze to Gold. With this change came a dramatic increase in price and of course, I expected the required ‘upgrade’ in speed. However, I was faced with the same sluggish speed so I reported this issue.

On February 7, a GTT technician visited my home and after explaining my situation, he told me outright that my neighbourhood cannot receive anything higher than the DSL Bronze plan! He even said that I was being short-changed on my Bronze plan in terms of speed. At that moment, although GTT had my account on DSL Gold, I wasn’t even getting 1 Mbps. The technician advised me to immediately request a downgrade in case I get charged for the Gold plan. I did this and got an email confirmation for service modification from GTT.

Lo and behold, on March 11, my internet was disconnected. I paid the amount due for the Bronze plan for the month of February since this was what I was receiving yet when I contacted the company through live chat, I was told that I owed over $3,800 (the difference between the Bronze and Gold plans). After explaining my situation, the agent reconnected my service and I reported the issue once again via the online form.

During the month of March, I even visited GTT’s BV Office and spoke to a representative in order to avoid a repeat of what occurred on March 11. She told me that she reported the matter (ref. no. 173404), confirmed that my neighbourhood cannot receive anything higher than the DSL Bronze plan and informed me that the amount I was overbilled would be removed.

Now after paying my bill for March (Bronze plan), GTT has disconnected me and refuses to reconnect the internet unless I pay the $3,800 from February plus the extra for the Gold plan for March which I did not receive, approximately $8,200. I refuse to be bullied my GTT; I refuse to give this mediocre company $1 more than I am obligated to pay for the service I receive.

The online facilities are a disaster and chatting with an agent is what I imagine a conversation with a robot or Stepford wife would go like. In addition, GTT has closed down several offices and the few that are available are always overflowing. It seems like this company believes only not-working millionaires use its services.

When one calls 0488, the wait literally lasts for hours or until you give up the struggle; over and over the same old recording ‘all agents are busy, please hold’. If I had a heart condition, this company would surely speed up entrance to the other side.

On April 12, after giving up on the 0488 wait, I contacted the company through live chat; before this, I visited several offices and the lines literally snaked out of the buildings so I retreated. From the responses the agent gave, I can bet $8,200 that she was reading a manual and even with the robotic responses, she audaciously refused to have her name mentioned when I stated that I was going to describe the encounter.

Questions that couldn’t be found in the manual were outright ignored. I asked why my internet was disconnected. She referred to the outstanding amount. I explained my situation and told her that I was currently receiving the DSL Bronze plan speed plus I paid my bill for March. She said that I was on some 40 days or 10 days cycle. I asked how that was relevant to me as the customer. No answer. I asked her to check my payment history and explain logically to me why I was disconnected. No answer.

The appearance of this outstanding $8,200? In February, my payment was $300 short. I asked her how $300 can morph into $8,200. No answer.  I asked her to check the amount due under my present plan. No answer. I referred to the encounter at BV with the GTT agent. She said I was misinformed so then I questioned whose fault is that and what was the misinformation I received. No answer. After a long drawn out chat where the agent skirted all the relevant questions, provided no enlightenment and kept repeating the same illogical statement, I ended the chat. Everything was, ‘40 days cycle vs 10 days’. How is this relevant to my situation as the customer?

I am appealing to GTT to shed light on this situation and provide a logical explanation for my disconnection. Surely there are many bright persons working at GTT. Stop being a bully. I have not done anything wrong here and I want my internet service to be reconnected.

Yours faithfully,
Narissa Deokarran

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