In the face of the increase in customer complaints indicating the rapid consumption of the one giga voucher of the most recent international recharge promoted by Cuba’s Telecommunications Enterprise S.A. (ETECSA), the entity’s officials explained this Wednesday that there was no anomaly nor was there a “wrong pricing.”
The state enterprise’s director of operation and maintenance, Kevin Castro, justified what had happened, affirming that many people “have confused this recharge voucher with the LTE voucher, which is applied to some of the data packages that ETECSA offers today,” Cubadebate reported.
He explained that users compared the one giga voucher with that of the data package that includes the purchase of one giga―for 10 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC)―and is rewarded with an additional voucher of equal value to consume on the LTE network, plus the 300 megabytes available for national navigation, which as a whole gives a value of 2.3 gigabytes.
The enterprise, which has a monopoly over telecommunications in Cuba, for the first time added in its international recharges a one-giga-data voucher for internet connection through mobile devices. However, its rapid consumption by many customers generated suspicions and criticism on social networks.
Castro clarified that the offered voucher now consumes data on any of the country’s three networks: 2G, 3G or 4G, while the LTE voucher is only for consuming on the 4G network and, in addition, the user then has another amount available for the purchased package.
“We detected cases in which users did not have the internet consumption rate and automatic updates disabled. They then received the recharge, connected the data, the phone updated the operating system, consumed the voucher, and then continued to consume the customer’s balance. That is why their telephone and data balance ran out without them knowing it,” said the specialist, quoted by Cubadebate.
The executive assured that all the complaints received were reviewed, case by case, and in none of them was there “wrong pricing.”
For her part, Tania Velázquez, ETECSA’s first vice president, commented that 53% of the users who received this benefit―she didn’t specify how many―have not yet fully used it.
According to Marketing Director Lázara Mairen Jiménez, at least 30,000 people received the recharge and joined the use of data for the first time in Cuba.
Those users have not configured their terminals so that they don’t automatically download updates, which consumes megabytes, sometimes in huge amounts, she explained.
For her part, Commercial Vice President of ETECSA Hilda Arias Pérez said that since May 10 the enterprise has received 2,270 complaints related to the recharge voucher, “which represents only 0.3% of mobile telephone customers in Cuba,” she said.
Likewise, she explained that 374 complaints about what happened with the Nauta Hogar home internet service were attended to, and “prompt attention” was offered to each client.
Difficulties related to internet access are the cause of constant complaints by Cubans, even though the possibilities of connectivity on the island have multiplied in recent years and services such as Nauta Hogar and mobile data connection were established.
High prices―compared to state wages in Cuba―, the instability of the connection and some problems with the packages and vouchers marketed by ETECSA, are among the most frequent complaints from those who connect from the island.