Consumers cry foul of NT service

Pokhara, June 28:

Consumers of Code Divisional Multiple Access (CDMA) phones being distributed by Nepal Telecom (NT) in Pokhara are in trouble and facing financial burden due to problems encountered in CDMA phone sets.

“I spent Rs 2,000 to get a replacement for my CDMA phone set some time ago”, a consumer, Ram Gurung said. Now, the charge of a new CDMA set has been reduced to Rs 500.

“This is an open instance of corruption”, Gurung said, adding, “If a phone set does not work, we have to go to the Nepal Telecom (NT) office. The high charge of replacement is not justifiable.”

“That happens due to the provision of NT”, chief of CDMA section at NT, Pokhara office, Sanjayaraj Adhikari said. “We will repair the set if there are minor problems.

However, if there are major problems we provide a new set for Rs 500 to our customer”, Adhikari said, adding that telephone sets having problems are sent to Kathmandu for repair.

Consumers said that they are facing difficulty as the private sector is not allowed to repair the sets and there is no repair centre of NT outside the capital.

NT has distributed pre-paid CDMA set in white colour and post-paid CDMA sets in black. The white set is manufactured by Korea based Hental Company and the black set is manufactured by China based ZTI Corporation, Adhikari said.

Compared to the black phones, the white sets suffer greater problems, consumers said.

Some 10 consumers with white sets come for exchange while only two consumers of black sets come for exchange every day, records at the CDMA section of NT in Pokhara manifest.

There is a problem in the dial pad of black phone sets while the white sets suffer from problems of RAM and memory, Adhikari said.

According to the old provision, a consumer is required to pay Rs 5,000 if problems surface in

the sets. However, the rate has been greatly reduced now.

A consumer is required to pay Rs 7,990 for prepaid CDMA phones and around Rs 11,000 for post-paid CDMA phones. There are some 7,000 CDMA NT consumers in Pokhara.

There is a provision of providing replacement for a new set if it stops functioning within a time frame fixed by NT, an NT source said.

Though NT had decided to establish repair centres outside the capital including Pokhara last year, such centres have not been established in Pokhara yet.