Telekom Malaysia has been slammed by the Government for ‘alarming decline’ in service – here’s what happened

The number of complaints against Telekom Malaysia rose from 4,528 in 2017 to 7,946 in 2018, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said.

There seem to be a lot of unhappy Telekom Malaysia (TM) customers these days.

A 43 per cent increase in consumer complaints since last year has driven the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to issue a statement on Monday (Nov 19), criticising TM for having the highest number of complaints among the country’s broadband providers.

The number of complaints against TM rose from 4,528 in 2017 to 7,946 in 2018, the statement said.

These complaints mostly centred around the lack of Internet coverage, service disruptions, billing disputes and consumer dissatisfaction with prices.

According to the statement, TM’s typical approach to these complaints was to cite technical limitations and request customers be patient.

This was “not an acceptable course of action”, the MCMC said.

“As the largest fixed broadband provider in the country with 85.97 per cent market share of total subscribers, TM’s inaction affects many Malaysians who depend on TM’s network in their daily professional and personal activities… The Government views this alarming decline in TM’s services delivery very seriously,” it added.

The MCMC added that TM would have to account for the disparity in pricing between its UniFi and Streamyx packages. This way, customers would be charged “fairly” according to their broadband speeds, especially in areas without UniFi coverage.

Streamyx operates on a copper cable network, while UniFi operates on a fibre optic network.

“TM needs to be transparent in dealing with the Rakyat (ordinary citizens) by offering packages that are great value, not take advantage of consumer’s lack of options,” the MCMC said, adding that failing to do so would result in the Government taking regulatory action.

Following the MCMC’s statemnt, TM responded with a statement of its own, attributing several issues faced by customers – particularly those under the Streamyx package – to the technological limitations of its legacy copper network.

The copper network can only deliver broadband speeds of up to 8 megabytes per second, and fixing the problem would require a long term solution at “an industry and national level”, TM added.

It said it would “accelerate discussions” with the MCMC to find a “collaborative win-win approach”, but warned that a permanent solution would take time to implement and have heavy financial implications.

Apart from broadband speeds, the MCMC also chastised TM for failing to provide an explanation for a UniFi network disruption on Sunday (Nov 18).

TM responded in its statement saying the disruption occurred due to multiple fibre cables being cut by third-party contractors working on road works in Sentul and Sabak Bernam.