This is barely a year after the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) commenced criminal proceedings against Zamtel and two other mobile phone operators in the country for failing to meet minimum quality standards. ”
We would like to bring to your attention the continued injustice your company has been subjecting us to. We are holders of an Internet account with Zamtel (5389729),” partly read a letter dated March 28 signed by CUTS International Zambia national coordinator, Simon Ng’ona.
“For the past few months, we have been having outages in supply of Internet services despite payments being made. In most days, we have gone without Internet. We believe that this was not only happening with CUTS, but equally other individual consumers who have no means to voice out.” Zamtel initially said it was upgrading its system into the optic fibre network, hence the supply interruption, Ng’ona added.
“The deadline to this process was given and this has since elapsed. Not to take away challenges which could have been associated with the upgrading process, it is our view, based on experience, that no improvement has been recorded,” he argued.
Ng’ona stated that CUTS had also engaged Zamtel officials at the telecommunication firm’s Manda Hill bureau, who continued to give “un-materialising verbal assurances and in some instances daring on how far CUTS can take the case”.
“This is what has also motivated us to elevate the case to your office. It is our considered view that Zamtel ought to make a strong commitment towards compensating its consumers on the lost minutes or hours lost due to the outages,” stated Ng’ona in a letter addressed to Zamtel managing director, Dr Mupanga Mwanakatwe.
But Zamtel’s corporate and communications manager Kennedy Mambwe said the telecommunication company had ordered excess data capacity to rectify the poor internet service experienced by some of its customers. He said the problem would soon be rectified.
“What we have done is to engage our customers on this problem. It is a growth challenge we experienced were we exceeded capacity on our Fixed Broad Band (ADF) but we have ordered excess capacity and this should in within the next six weeks. So this problem should be rectified. We are mindful of our customers and we are doing everything possible to ensure that the enjoy a good service,” said Mambwe, adding that the company was at the moment keen to resolve the problem permanently.
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