User annoyance increases over NT services

Published On: August 8, 2016 09:01 AM NPT By: Sujan Dhungana

KATHMANDU, Aug 8: State-owned telecommunication service provider Nepal Telecom (NT) is slowly losing any remaining brand loyalty it may have commanded in the market following the telco’s failure to assure proper services.

As a result of repeated setbacks in services -- the latest of which includes network problems and problems in the balance-recharge system, users have expressed serious disappointment with NT services.

“The GSM mobile network of NT has been totally down since Friday in the Dolahiti area. Please help us and take this message to the authorities,” Bipin Gautam, a resident of Dolahiti of Lalitpur, said through phone on Sunday afternoon, registering his complaint with Republica. “What is the use of services if we cannot use them in even case of emergencies,” Gautam said in disgust as service providers like Nepal Police and NT itself did not respond properly to his complaints. 

Though service seekers often believe that government services are reliable over others, such faulty service from NT has surely been affecting NT’s brand loyalty. There are many users like Gautam who have been facing irregular and disrupted services from NT again in recent times. 

NT users since last Friday are also facing difficulty in the balance-recharge system. “I have not been able to recharge since Saturday morning. Problems related to NT services are increasing these days,” Depty Chalise of Jorpati shared with Republica, adding: “Government services are sure to lose their authenticity if the responsible authorities don’t show concern about improving the quality of service on time.” 

NT says it has been upgrading the balance-recharge software which resulted in disturbance in the recharge system.

Issuing a statement, NT officials said the problems with the recharge system were solved on Sunday evening. “We regret about the halt in regular recharge services. Users can now recharge as usual,” Prativa Baidhya, the spokesperson for NT, said. 

Talking to Republica, Baidhya refuted that there were network problems in Dolahiti and other areas at present. “We have not received any complaints as such. It will be solved once we are notified about the disturbance.”  

Meanwhile, Information Secretary Dinesh Thapaliya expressed his dissatisfaction over NT’s services and accepted that NT’s services are often not working. “NT has not quite given final shape to the plans and programs it unveiled three months ago about improving its services,” Thapaliya said. Thapaliya, who is also the chairman of the NT board, said that a meeting is to be called soon to ask NT officials about its deteriorating services and the progress made on its plan about assuring quality services. 

Thapaliya said some service disruptions were because of ongoing upgradation of different BTS towers in the Kathmandu Valley and preparations to change and increase landline numbers. NT has 628 BTS towers in the Kathmandu Valley. 

“On top of that, NT is going through a management transition right now. The current head -- Managing Director Buddhi Prasad Acharya -- is retiring soon and the selection process for his successor has started. Although this is minor, it could also be a factor causing delay in solving the current problems,” Thapaliya said.

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