A customer complained that his telco provider took away rebate and other benefits without prior notice. File pix.

IN 2008, I converted my existing prepaid handphone line from an established mobile service provider to that of a newly launched post-paid product where early bird customers were given a permanent 50 per cent rebate on monthly access fees.

Customers who paid via credit card auto debit were entitled to an additional monthly discount of RM5.

Although the SMS charges and call rates were on the high side, the package was suitable for light users.

The permanent 50 per cent rebate was later removed when the company migrated to a new system, but I was unaware of it due to my busy schedule.

On viewing my online bills later, I discovered to my horror that the rebate had been removed a few years ago.

It is distasteful to find that I have overpaid my phone charges for many years, adding up to a substantial sum.

After lodging my complaints, the monthly rebate was reinstated, but the company refused to refund the overcharges since I did not make any complaint earlier.

A few months later, the 50 per cent was removed again, and when I complained, it was reinstated, and soon the monthly RM5 discount was also removed.

It has been a great inconvenience to repeatedly visit the operations centre to have both my rebate and discount reinstated.

The sales person is also puzzled as to why the current system keeps removing my entitlements.

As I now frequently check my monthly bills, I find that the billings would be correct for a few months, and then the removals would start again.

It is a hassle, although a refund is always given after liaising with the online customer service.

I feel this arm-twisting tactic to update to a more comprehensive package is not right, even if there are very few customers still using my current programme.

It was suggested that my plan be upgraded to a more comprehensive data plan which has both call plans and Internet facilities.

But this is costlier, and my current plan suits me just fine.

The service provider must ensure that all customer data and their entitlements are properly migrated to any new system where all bugs must be eliminated, and that it is able to cater for all plans, existing and old.

As long as there are still customers using the old plans, the billing system must also include the promised entitlements and discounts.

NG SHU TSUNG, Kuala Lumpur

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