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ECTEL / For Your Information

For Your Information

Tips on how to become a smart consumer of telecommunications services and products

Electronic communications products, which include telephones, mobile phones, computers, I-phones, I-pads and related services and products, continue to penetrate our market at a rapid pace. They have affected and impacted the social, cultural and economic aspects of life. At a global level, these effects and impacts have been, or are being, addressed by various organizations, interest groups, the government and private agencies.

The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), has been focusing within the recent past on educating consumers so that they become better informed and empowered to actively participate in their country’s development through the electronic communications sector, in a meaningful way.

Here are some tips that can help you become a more knowledgeable and savvy consumer.

Always keep in mind that

  1. As a consumer or a customer, you should be informed about and aware of the services offered at all times, so that you are in a position to make informed choices about the products that you purchase.
  2. To ensure that you are not trapped, (“locked in”), as much as possible, obtain information regarding the service or product in advance of making any decision or signing a contract, and at least be aware of other consumers’ experiences with similar services.
  3. Make decisions wisely considering the harmful consequences that can arise from making hasty and ill-informed decisions on a particular service that you wish to purchase.
  4. Compare prices and features of products and services offered by service providers, before
deciding to make a purchase.
  5. Avoid entering into any schemes that are promoted with fancy terms and those that you do not understand, without enquiring about the details of the offer.
  6. Carefully analyze the word “FREE” in advertisements before making any decisions. Generally, “free” has conditions attached to it.
  7. As a customer of any service provider, you must be aware of the usage tariffs of any Value Added Services associated with your main account prior to using such value added service, like Ring tones for example.
  8. Know and fully understand your financial capability before you enter into any contract. Keep copies of the contract to ensure you avoid any potential confusion.
  9. If you are a post-paid customer, do ensure the receipt of your invoices of your account(s), are delivered in time and that your transactions are accurate.
  10. If you are a prepaid customer, you should also ensure you know your balance before making any calls, SMS or using data services (which can be costly).
  11. For postpaid customers, ensure your bills are paid promptly and before the due date to avoid disconnection or surcharge.
  12. Do not allow yourself to be pushed or forced to subscribe to any service. You have a right to say NO as equally as you wish to say YES.
  13. Inform your service provider about any lost or stolen SIM Card as soon as possible.
  14. If you wish to make any changes to your contact details, make sure you inform your service provider about any changes which might affect your contract.
  15. Avoid using electronic communication services, ICTs or products that are hazardous to the environment or other users.
  16. Get into the habit of asking questions for clarification of issues which you do not fully understand.

17.Take and spend time to read and understand all the paperwork, including your contract terms and      conditions, carefully (strive to understand each individual clause) before you decide to enter into any    contract with any service provider. Some contracts are very long and complicated. You have the right to  seek assistance to ensure you fully understand all terms and conditions expected and required from  you.

18. If changes are made to your current contract, you must be made aware of and agree to them, as    well.

Always remember as a consumer, the power is in your hands.

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