Thursday, 23 July 2009

Complaints against Telecommunication Companies

Under the Communication & Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 1998), a consumer may lodge a complaint against a telecommunication service provider at the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission (MCMC). 

Section 188 (1) (a) & (b) of CMA 1998 states:-

S 188 (1) :-
Any network facilities provider, network service provider, application service provider or content application service provider shall:-

a. Deal reasonably with consumers; and,

b. Adequately address consumer complaints. 

S 188 (2) makes it punishable if a network facilities provider, network service provider, applications service provider or content applications service provider who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

In a recent case of Telekom Malaysia v Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna (2007) 1 MLJ 626, the High Court held that consumers of telecommunication products and services which falls within S188(1) above cannot refer their complains to the Consumer Tribunal but instead to MCMC.

Basically most services and goods related to telecommunication will fall within the ambit of S188(1). The proviso has service providers, application service providers etc in the list. 

So, if you have a complaint against an Internet Company, for example, lodge it with MCMC and not Consumer Tribunal. 

Postscript (26th July 2009):-

We wish to point out that the Consumer Protection Act was recently amended to allow complaints to the Consumer Tribunal; for matter related to Telecommunications, effectively over turning the High Court Case above. Kindly take note. 

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