CFM: More than 11K consumer complaints received in 2019, with most for cellular services

Under Cellular Services, Network issues make up the most number of complaints with 3,367. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

A total of 11,615 complaints were received from consumers in 2019, an increase of 83% compared to 2018, according to the Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM).

The CFM 2019 Annual Report detailed the number of complaints by service type, with Cellular Services taking up the lion’s share with 7,731 (66.6%) cases, followed by High Speed Broadband with 1,613 (13.9%) and Wireless Broadband with 1,032 (8.9%). The rest of the complaints were on IPTV (139/1.2%), Fixed Line (128/1.1%), Wired Broadband (128/1.1%), IP Telephony (42/0.4%) and Free to Air TV (24/0.2%) issues.

Under Cellular Services, the Network category racked up the most number of complaints with 3,367. In fact, Network issues was the biggest cause of consumer dissatisfaction across all service types with a total of 4,922 complaints in 2019, marking a whopping 156% increase from 2018.

Network issues such as service disruption or downtime recorded 1,376 complaints, followed by poor 4G/LTE coverage (1,268), no 4G/LTE coverage (608), poor 3G coverage (330) and problems with Internet connection or speed (312) which is defined as slow Internet speed or speed not as subscription package.

CFM explained that factors affecting network coverage and signal quality include topography, indoor coverage, base station location and device performance. It cited the most common root cause as being “the server capacity of the provider and the peering network availability”.

“The high number of users connected at the same server at a certain time (peak hours) often leads to network congestion which causes degradation of network quality that will affect the quality of experience with video stalls, choppy VoIP communications, a poor web browsing experience, and frustrating online gaming performance,” CFM said in the annual report.

It added that service providers also do not provide enough information on plans to upgrade networks, which would help complainants decide on whether they should stay with the current service or porting out to another provider.

CFM chairperson Datin Mohana Mohariff hopes that the development of the National Digital Networking Plan (Jendela) which has an allocation of RM7.4bil will be able to help more Malaysians achieve stable Internet connection in all areas.

“Through this allocation, CFM hopes that the development of broadband infrastructure and services can be effectively distributed in all areas for all consumers to enjoy,” she said in a press statement.

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