Digicel Barbados CEO Alex Tasker. (GP)
Since last month, Digicel customers have been paying more for upgraded bundle and broadband-only plans.
And from July 1, some FLOW customers will also have to pay slightly more to use their mobile phones, talk on the landline and access broadband services.
Digicel first announced the hike in April when it introduced the new broadband plans, which went into effect on May 1.
Digicel’s chief executive officer (CEO) Alex Tasker said that the changes were due to upgrades to give customers the best value leading to a broadband plan range from $80 to $225.
“Since our launch we have made numerous improvements to all our services and plans. As we continue to improve, we have given our customers even better value by increasing the fibre broadband speeds on all our bundle and broadband only plans.
“This upgrade means the customer has more speed to use how they want. This also meant that a minor price increase was applied to all upgraded bundle and broadband-only plans,” Tasker told the Saturday Sun yesterday.
When asked if more increases were likely, he said rates were subject to change at any time and that he could not say “yes” or “no”.
Meanwhile, FLOW recently ran an advertisement and posted its upcoming changes on its website.
Customers subscribed to their post-paid mobile plan, Medium Plus, will see an increase of $5 monthly. Similarly, broadband customers will also pay an additional $5 per month for packages ranging from Basic, Essential, Plus, Max, Turbo, Ultra and Gigabit.
Value for money
And for FLOW’s landline customers, there will be an increase ranging from $2.46 to $3.48 per month for customers presently subscribing to its suite of fixed voice services.
In a company statement, FLOW said that it was still offering value for money.
“Despite a price adjustment of four per cent, when compared to similar offerings from other mobile competitors, our customers continue to win on value,” the company said.
FLOW said only some customers were affected.
“As it relates to our fixed-line services, thousands of Barbadians are already enjoying the savings that bundles provide and this price adjustment for individual fixed-line products only applies to those customers who are currently out of bundle,” the statement read.
Director of Utility Regulation at the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Dr Marsha Atherley-Ikechi, said in this case they were only responsible for regulating the landline aspect.
However, she said the telecommunications company met the requirements and was just following the guidelines set out in the Price Gap Plan 2016.
“Within that plan they are allowed to increase [or decrease] prices on a yearly basis up to a certain maximum. That alleviates the idea of having to come back to us every year for review.
The maximum increase is set at three per cent and it’s relative to the inflation factor and the one recorded for last year was 4.4 per cent,” Atherley-Ikechi said.
She also said that based on the guidelines set out in the plan, they were also guided by a basket of goods, including residential access, business access, voicemail, call waiting and other services. (TG)