COMMENDATIONS are in order for Saint Lucia’s Minister with responsibility for telecommunications Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, who wrote last week to Telecommunications company LIME expressing concern over a decision by LIME to charge customers an additional EC$6.18 monthly, as of Jan. 1, 2015, for printed bills.
My information is that Minister Fletcher, in his letter to LIME, stated that the “decision by LIME will disadvantage a large segment of the population who use LIME as a service provider but do not have access to internet services, either through mobile or fixed broadband.”
The minister apparently also indicated that in a country where broadband penetration is less than 20 percent—and in some communities like Canaries as low as 13 percent—LIME’s pronouncement will place the bulk of its Saint Lucian customers at a severe financial disadvantage.
Lime unlike St.Lucia Electricity Service is removing the choice element from a segment of its Customer base whose average monthly bill hardly ever exceeds EC$30.00. This additional charge will represent a 20.6% increase. I dare say even higher than VAT.
For the grandmother tucked away in Bouton whose phone allows regular contact with a son/daughter in the Diaspora Lime is killing her softly with this charge.
Like the Minister I do hope that LIME will re-examine this proposed plan of action, show its human side consider its own limitations in the provision of Broadband services here in St. Lucia and defer this decision.
I challenge the National Consumer Association to join the call to LIME to withdraw the letters issued to customers in this regard.
Bravo Mr. Minister! Good looking out!
And what is the projected outcome from such a supposed (but unpublished) sternly worded letter?
I fear that Fletcher is just seeking cover for his impotence and unwillingness to stymie C&W’s goal of reprising its monopoly of the telecommunications sector.