19 MAR 2010, BY CFM
Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia (SKMM), in collaboration with the Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) organised a consumer seminar at Johor Bahru, Johor today. The seminar was officiated by Encik Amarjit Singh a/l Karthar Singh, Senior Director of Licensing, Economic Regulations and Compliance Division of SKMM. The seminar aims to educate participants on issues facing both consumers and providers of communications and multimedia services and the roles played by CFM and SKMM in protecting consumer rights.
The one day event drew participation from Communications Service Providers, Broadcasters, consumer and public interest groups as well as community leaders from Johor. The highlight of the seminar was a panel discussion which consisted panellists or representatives from service providers who fielded questions from the participants. The panel was meant as a platform for discussions on problems impacting delivery of communications and multimedia services and the solutions that will be taken to solve them. Besides, it helps to educate consumers on the service delivery issues and assist them to resolve problems in getting good service. We hope this will assist in empowering consumers and the feedback received will help the service providers in formulating solutions to the problems raised.”
In addition, a series of public consultation on mandatory standards for Broadband Access Service (BAS) and Broadband Wireless Access Service (BWAS), Postal service and the review to the General Consumer Code will be done during the seminars. The public consultation was intended to obtain feedback and views from the consumers.
Among the highlighted issues were criminal offences using social media, SMS scams and spams, billing disputes, package pricing, identity theft, ambiguous SMS advertising and internet access issues.
In 2009, CFM received a total of 1,331 complaints, out of which 97 (7.3%) were on SMS abuse. Although the figure may seem small, CFM is concerned about the impact of the growing number of SMS abuse cases. For 2010, the monthly average number of such cases has recorded a 100% increase, from 8 cases a month in 2009 to 16 cases per month in 2010.
CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT THROUGH CODES AND EDUCATION
Through various complaints received from the public since its inception in 2001, CFM has drafted 2 consumer codes to administer and resolve issues received. The codes are namely, the General Consumer Code and Internet Access Code; both can be obtained in booklets from CFM’s office or downloaded from their website at www.cfm.org.my for free. These codes serve as a guideline for a fair and equitable service between service providers and consumers. The codes outline procedures and recommends inexpensive processes to solve complaints out of the court systems.