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By Anita Devasahayam



Monday, July 26, 1999

TMnet comes under more fire

IPOH: Telekom Malaysia Bhd's TMnet Internet service is still under fire from users, despite the company's assurance that it would increase its connection nodes or Points-of-Presence (POPs) nationwide by 20% to alleviate network congestion.

Users claimed that TMnet has not fulfilled its promise to provide consistent and decent service.

Complaints range from line congestion and drops, to inaccurate billing and getting the runaround from TMnet's hotline support staff.

M. Nesamani, 26, said she was unable to access the Net at night for more than a month.

"I had no problem getting online during the day, but every night, I failed to gain access," she said.

Even when she succeeded, the connection would immediately be severed. Attempts to reconnect would inevitably fail, she added.

"It is so inconvenient. I cannot finish my assignments as I source a lot of material from the Net," said the catering student.

Another user, Patrick Tan, had a lot of difficulty trying to change his password regularly--as advised by TMnet.

First, he said TMnet online support staff did not answer his queries regarding password changes. According to a notice at the company's website (www.tmnet.com.my), users can only change passwords during office hours, at 8.30am to 4.45pm.

"Can you imagine having to take a day off from work just to change a password," Tan asked.

TMnet also said in its website that passwords can be changed within 24 hours, but according to Tan, his new password was only activated after more than a month.

No termination

Irate users who tried to terminate their accounts had their own brand of trouble.

One user, who wanted to be known only as Ah Kwan, said he had been trying to terminate his account since last July.

"I had sent TMnet countless reminders. I contacted its online help, faxed its office in Kelana Jaya, and posted letters, in addition to personally visiting the nearest Kedai Telekom," he said.

He had posted yet another letter in June to remind TMnet to terminate his account, but despite all this, he received a RM24 bill for July 1999 usage--basically the cost of the account.

He and other users said that as Malaysia's largest telecommunications company, Telekom Malaysia should be more responsive to customers' needs.

The company's TMnet unit, which began operations in 1996, claims it has 320,000 customers, thus making it the largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in South-East Asia.

Telekom Malaysia head of corporate communications Sharifah Mohd Ismail admitted the company receives quite a number of complaints about TMnet's service.

"However, we are putting in every effort to try and rectify these problems," she said, adding that improving customer service is an ongoing process at Telekom Malaysia.

Sharifah also encouraged users to lodge their complaints at the nearest Kedai Telekom or at TMnet's main office in Kelana Jaya.

"Each complaint will be dealt with separately, and users are welcome to fax me at (03) 757-4747 regarding their problems," she added.

Published in In.Tech, Star Publications (M) Bhd.


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