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Vincentians unhappy with new cable service
Published on July 22, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- Since cable television company Flow started operations in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), local consumers are reportedly unhappy with a drastic change to the channel line-up offered, apparently without consultation or warning.

Some consumers are said to be still unaware that there has been a change that will soon affect them and, additionally, many have complained that the internet has been much slower. There is also dissatisfaction in relation to the costs and, according to some Vincentians, they are being charged outrageous prices for a service that no longer meets their entertainment and educational needs.

Although Flow’s local manager Christopher Gordon and the regional vice president of sales and marketing were both quoted recently as saying that, among other things, they believe that Vincentians will soon see that they are getting value for their money, customers are unhappy because they feel that the company is showing a blatant disregard to their needs.

In the meantime, Flow has reportedly removed some favourite channels locally and, despite promising dialogue, the company has cancelled town hall meetings and representatives only appear on radio and television programmes that do not allow the public to interact with them.

Flow’s Facebook page is bombarded daily by disgruntled customers, who complain about everything from being unable to speak to a customer service representative in SVG to technicians who fail to show up at their homes to correct problems, or leave having not solved the problem.

Many have also noted that, despite Flow's claim of being unable to offer certain channels in SVG for legal reasons, they offer the same channels in other countries in the Caribbean.

A small group of citizens (WE -- Working for Everybody) has been able to gain the signatures of over 1,000 disgruntled consumers. Its aim is to have a meeting with Flow in order to present the petition and the concerns of the wider Vincentian public in an attempt to formulate packages that benefit a greater number of Vincentians.

As the basic package being offered by Flow is currently viewed as unsatisfactory and many customers have already returned their cable boxes, WE has asked consumers to keep their boxes until the group has met with Flow. “

If negotiating with Flow fails then the next step would be to take in the boxes… disconnection,” the group said.

Last week, SVG Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said he is not pleased with the situation where it appears that Flow did not give enough consideration to the needs of the people.

In the wake of public complaints on radio, and on the streets, the prime minister and his cabinet have now opened up the market so that Flow no longer enjoys monopoly in SVG and a licence has already been approved for a Saint Lucia-based company, Spectra Inc, to begin operating in SVG and it has also been reported that LIME SVG is in the process of testing its television services.

Meanwhile, Flow has made all of their channels free until July 31; however, Vincentians are calling for a permanent fix to the problem, including better packages and better prices.
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Flow landed upon us like a huge rock falling from the mountains without warning. Why are we so unhappy...I can only speak for myself.

Let's look at the channels religious channels which do not include the rich religious coverage SVG-TV offers. Children's channels up the yang yang....including all the Disney channels and nonsense cartoons. Shouldn't our children be outside playing in the fresh air rather than channel surfing all the many cartoon, Nickelodeon and Disney channels? I have no problem with any of those channels that speak to the local population but there is one I find very offensive. LMN....this channel has nothing to do with race or religion but all to do with the weirdest aspects of life. We have enough weird things happening here

I read a complaint in the local newspapers that a news channel was missing from the line up. This well educated person should be able to do without MSNBC as it is trivial, racists and full of untruths about America on the left and the right! channels. Hmm...we have all the CNN channels... Bloomberg News, the usual alphabet soup of network news, and Fox. Why are they taking up space with Bloomberg and all the CNN channels. CNN international and the regular CNN channel should be enough for CNN.

Spaced out along the string of channels are Discovery, NatGeo and History channels which cover a range of lifestyle and educational programs from around the world. After all, if the populace only learns about what is within its culture and local borders they will not grow into citizens of the world. But now come all the other fluff that make up the gazillion "base package" programs. I do not even want to go into the Spanish language or "sometimes" Spanish language channels. And I think most would agree how disturbing it is to have to listen to an English language channel with banal commercials...but in Spanish? WOW! Last time I checked, SVG was an English speaking country.

There are sport channels..okay....City TV that picks up shows from all the other channels and so it is a repetitive channel and please tell we really need to know all about the life and times of the Kardashian family? PUleeeeZe!!!!!!

There are complaints about the arrangement of the channels...about using the upper channels, all three digits. A viewer has no idea what is being shown because there is no directory below the channels as you surf looking to pass your time in a constructive manner.

Some of these things should be easy to fix, so give FLOW a chance to do that. But the idea that they have decided that this is all agreeable and that we should pay for mostly rubbish...I do not agree at all.

Let me not forget to relate that when I called because a channel I was watching suddenly went dark with the infamous "no signal" sign on the screen...I reached TT! YUP...we have NO contact with the office here. The person answering the phone said she would send an email...and that is when I stopped listening!! There is no number to leave a message about a service problem...nowhere to record the fact that the TV is totally off...and when does that usually happen? Why Friday night through Monday morning of course.

I can agree that a raise in the monthly payment is agreeable but not for what they are serving up. FLOW...MORE IS NOT BETTER. We want quality. We want educational channels...not spooky channels that will scare our kids or give adults ideas...we have enough weird ideas already around here. I think SVG should be able to choose the company they want and so bring on the group from St. Lucia and let us see what they offer.

Like most everyone else...not a happy camper!!


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