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A Communication Regulator that is Deaf and Mute – My Review of SKMM Aduan

There are over 40 million mobile subscription in Malaysia in 2019. Chances are, you are one of many who may experience some sort of an issue with your mobile service provider, be it billing, coverage related issue, among others. What if your Telco refuses to resolve your problem? Your rights as a consumer are supposedly protected by General Consumer Code (GCC), enforced by MCMC. But what if MCMC itself is the problem?

This is a personal review of the SKMM Aduan (MCMC Complaint) system.

aduan-SKMM-MCMC-Complaint-Handling-Process

Its been a few years since I made a complaint to MCMC (SKMM Aduan) due to past experience where the regulator failed to protect my rights as a consumer. Despite this, I have always recommended everyone to log their unresolved complaints with MCMC, for statistic purposes since MCMC can’t really hide these data.

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On the 26 of May 2020, I made a complaint to MCMC regarding poor coverage and slow speed with Yes 4G ( I know, its the worst Telco in Malaysia). Prior to that, I have already made the complaint directly to Yes on the 9 of May 2020 and they responded admitting the network congestion at the area, said it would be fixed. However no timeline or compensation were given and they immediately closed the complaint.

yes4g-signal-reading-mcmc-complaint
The Yes 4G network signal reading that I submitted to MCMC

In my complaint to MCMC (SKMM Aduan), I submitted technical details including my exact location (GPS coordinates included),  actual network reading with base station ID, signal strength, Yes 4G frequency band including its spectrum, and a speedtest screenshot towards Yes server (I got 1.15 Mbps).

yes4g-speedtest-mcmc-complaint

The complaint was immediately acknowledged by the MCMC Complaint Portal (SKMM Aduan) with an automated email.

On the 27 of May 2020, Yes responded with a scripted response asking me to perform a speedtest. The response appears to come from a Human Bot called Rachel ( I call Rachel a Bot since she/him wasn’t able to find the speedtest screenshot which I have already attached in my complaint to MCMC) .

I told “Bot” Rachel not to waste my time and get a human to read/go through the attachment in my complaint. I guess this is one of their tactic to annoy you, so you wouldn’t bother to respond anymore and the complaint will be closed automatically.

At this point, while these conversation took place on the MCMC Complaint portal (SKMM Aduan), not a single human from MCMC responded or advised me on the matter.

Following this, Yes tried to call me on the 29 of May but I did not pick up since I needed all communication in writing.

On the 4th of June, a joker called Mohd Fadzli Hassan Basri (I will explain why I call him a joker) from Yes replied and asked me to download an app called Network Cell Info Lite and provide them screenshots within that app (for network signal reading). They also asked me to submit screenshots of my carrier name and signal bar that I get on my phone. Again, I have already submitted all these network readings in my 1st email to MCMC but apparently, these “humans” from Yes didn’t go through it, perhaps trying to give me a hard time. The representative also said that they have performed a drive test at the location I reported and the signal was “good”.

At this point, I am already frustrated with the response from Yes.

So I asked them to prove their drive test to me. I requested for the time, date and location of their drive test, screenshot of the signal they got, device they used for the test, screenshot of a speedtest, details of backhaul capacity of their super fast base station (including peak usage).

On the 6 of June, the joker replied and admitted the high network utlization at the area (the second time they admitted this and still the same excuse one month after my first direct complaint to Yes). He said that utlisation was high during the MCO period (he also said other service provider got the same issue) and the service should resume to normal now. He ignored every questions that I have asked previously and instead provided me details of my daily Internet usage for the month of April, May and June, like this was relevant to my complaint ( this is why I called him a Joker). There are still no evidence that Yes have performed a drive test to verify the actual problem.

On the 18 of June (almost 2 weeks later), the joker from Yes said that they have performed a drive test (not sure how many real drive test so far) and admitted this time that signal was weak at the location I reported. In comparison, I tested Celcom, U Mobile and Digi which have good signal reading measured below -100 RSRP. Yes says that their signal are being blocked by high rise building. I was also told that the coverage at the location will be improved in about 1 month. The joker from Yes said that my complaint will now be closed.

At this point, I am not sure what was resolved by Yes. During the complaint, I have asked MCMC to respond to this matter hoping they could advice me on my rights as a consumer and if the resolution was acceptable. However, there wasn’t a single living soul in MCMC who responded to me, so much to be called a Communication Regulator, yet they appear to be deaf and mute.

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My Comment

In summary, I could only conclude that MCMC doesn’t really care about your complaints.

In June 2019, seven Telcos in Malaysia took a Consumer First Pledge, promise to deliver various improvements such as; to provide consumer experience that is efficient and courteous across all channels, to provide transparent mechanisms for consumers to check their complaint status, to promote a more accessible complaint handling process, and to enable fair and reasonable complaint resolution. However, in my first hand experience, none of these pledge were truly implemented.

The Consumer First Pledge was a good thing but it failed because MCMC itself didn’t pledge anything. Telcos are issued a compound by MCMC if they don’t provide a satisfactory service but what happens if MCMC don’t do their job well?

In my opinion, the MCMC Complaint platform has failed since Day 1. They claim to “resolve” high number of complaints in a short period of time but I think it is more of a “Syok Sendiri” attitude. In my case, the complaint was marked resolved within 30 days despite the issue wasn’t fixed. Is MCMC really proud of this?

Consumers could also contact MCMC via its Whatsapp channel. But this is also another joke because in the end, they would still ask you to make a report on the SKMM Aduan platform. They couldn’t even investigate a simple SMS Spam complaint and most answers are scripted with super delayed response time. Is MCMC still living in the stone age era?

I could go on and suggest some improvements for the SKMM Aduan platform here but I am pretty sure that this a waste of my time. I wonder what would take for MCMC to truly champion the rights of consumers.

If MCMC don’t protect consumer rights, who would?

Such a huge disappointment.

Update (27 June 2020): Following this article, a MCMC representative sent me a direct email to acknowledge my complaint which was marked by Yes as Resolved on the 18 of June. The MCMC representative apologised for the late response and said that they are experiencing a high number of complaints at the moment.

Fyi, in the entire 2018, MCMC/CFM received a total of 6,330 valid complaints which translates into an average of 527 complaints a month or just 17-18 complaints a day. I will be looking forward to the complaints statistic of 2020, especially for the month of June 2020, which should be available in about 2 years time.

For comparison, a major Telco in Malaysia gets close to 1 million calls/chat/email/social media messages in a month, and the customer service staff numbers around 500 people.

I wonder if the issue with MCMC is related to high number of complaints or lack of staff? Because if they have enough staff, it wouldn’t take them this long to respond and just to acknowledge my complaint. Well, at least their hearing aid is working now.

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