Unifi and some other Telekom Malaysia (TM) service users are still seething as the telco giant continues to report disrupted services following some of its fibre cables being cut by ongoing MRT construction. The disruptions commenced 17th November from around 11pm onwards.
The disruption has affected users in multiple locations across Malaysia including Central, Northern, Eastern regions, Sabah and Sarawak. As repairs are still ongoing, users may be in for more frustration as TM reroutes traffic on its network. While the provider has claimed that rerouting traffic has allowed it to ‘fully restore services affected’, this is a stopgap measure as alternate traffic routes may result in higher network congestion.
What Caused the Fault?
MRT, one of Malaysia’s largest infrastructure projects has been carrying out construction activities continuously. Unfortunately, these construction activities often take place in developed areas and there is a risk of disruption to existing infrastructure in place. The incident with TM cables were allegedly caused by 3rd party contractors in Sentul and Sabak Bernam West Coast Expressway (WSE) contractors in Sabak Bernam.
This claim by TM has not been publicly refuted by MTR Corp. and TM has highlighted the issue to the local authority council in hopes of avoiding recurrences. In view of TM’s apparent poor customer service record, it is unlikely that customers facing service disruptions will be compensated in any way.
TM Faces Uphill Battle in Broadband
Following Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo’s mandate for lower broadband prices, TM has tried to offer Unifi users increased broadband speed of up to 800Mbps. Unfortunately, poor customer satisfaction and increased competition has seen it fight an uphill battle in this regard.
In fact, reports indicate that the telco has chalked up an eye-raising 7,946 complaints about its services so far this year, representing an increase in excess of 40% over last year. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has noted that this is the highest amongst all telecommuncations providers in the country.
TM immediately issued a public statement refuting allegations of poor service and insists that it is “investing continuously to upgrade both fiber and network networks”. The statement, however, fails to make any mention of the standards of its customer service apart from asking customers to ensure their contact details are kept updated.
Just this year alone, reports indicate that TM has lost over RM13 billion in market capitalization to a current RM9 billion. It suffered a further blow following the announcement that its acting CEO Datuk Bazlan Osman has resigned effective immediately and is only staying on for a short transition period.
*updated 7.30pm, 19-Nov-2018