Column: Open Letter To Digicel About WhatsApp

October 13, 2015

[Opinion column written by Chris Famous]

Dear Digicel,

Like thousands of other Bermuda residents, my family have been faithful customers of yours for nearly ten years. We have watched your growth in the both the Caribbean market and the Bermuda market with a sense of pride of seeing you bring innovation and lower prices to the people.

We have taken out prepaid plans, post paid plans, purchased thousands of phones, from Motorola Razors right up to your own android models.

We have faithfully paid out millions of dollars at your Washington Mall store. We have welcomed your store on Court Street and likewise paid out fees there as well.

So many millions of dollars that you have been able to purchase almost anything you wish such local and long distance providers. Heck you all now even have purchased an internet provider out of the millions of dollars we have paid you over the years.

So it is somewhat disappointing that as technology has evolved making local and global communications that much easier, we, your faithful customers, now seem to have issues using WhatsApp?

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How so you say?

Well over the last year WhatsApp has near perfected their VOIP calling feature that allows any of its 900 million users to call each other irrespective of location.

Thousands of your clients have been using this feature to stay in contact with; family, friends and business clients. It essentially has helped to move Bermudian society and Bermuda’s economy forward.

Recently it has come to our attention that local customers have issues using this feature, something we found out ourselves, as you did not have the courtesy to send a SMS message to your thousands of clients . You know the clients who have paid you multi millions of dollars over the years.

Upon further investigation it seems there is pattern in the Caribbean region in islands such as,but not limited to; Antigua,BVI, St. Lucia and Jamaica.

As a matter of fact in the island of St Lucia,  Jn Pierre-Emmanuel who is the Press Secretary to the island’s Prime Minister wrote you this note “This is something to cause any customer to become irate. Imagine having a postpaid account with a credit limit of $500.00. There you are paying for something. Yet the provider wants to control how you use it? How unreasonable?!”

A petition was started and sent to the local Digicel office who responded by saying:

“Dear Valued Customer,

We have been following closely the comments and opinions of you our valued customers in relation to VOIP [voice over internet protocol] services on our network.

As a company founded on always delivering on our promise of best value, best network and best service, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and doing everything we can to ensure that we provide them with the best customer experience.

As such, please be assured that we are working on an approach to VOIO services which takes into account and protects our customers’ interests, our business interests and our investment in St. Lucia.

We will be announcing this in a few weeks time and ask for your patience and understanding in the interim.”

Basically a long winded way of saying “We are not going to change it.”

So on behalf of the thousands of Bermuda residents and business who utilize WhatsApp calling in order to keep in touch with loved ones and important clients, we pose this question….what is happening with WhatsApp?

- If you are a Digicel customer and you cannot make Whatsapp calls I would like to hear from you.You may contact me via email : carib_pro@yahoo.com or Whatsapp me at 441-599-0901. Chris Famous.

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When contacted for a response, Digicel Bermuda said, “We can confirm that Digicel Bermuda does not block WhatsApp calls for customers on our network. We have had had a few queries from customers that have had problems with WhatsApp calling.

“This could just be localised network coverage but given Digicel has the best data network in Bermuda, we think this could be related to some software niggles with our unique system that provides unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use with a Go Social plan, free with Freedom Bundles on Prepaid.

“Voice calling on WhatsApp is explicitly excluded from the “free” use on these plans but should still be available for customers on a pay as they use basis. Any such issues should now be resolved so we would encourage any customer experiencing problems to let us know.”

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Opinion columns reflect the views of the writer, and not those of Bernews Ltd. To submit an Opinion Column/Letter to the Editor, please email info@bernews.com. Bernews welcomes submissions, and while there are no length restrictions, all columns must be signed by the writer’s real name.

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Comments (21)

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  1. San George says:

    Stop whining Chris and stop giving them your money.

    • looking right past the problem says:

      sound like you just don’t like Chris!

      • inna says:

        All he had to do was get into contact with Digicel, and he wouldve gotten a response like Bernews did.

        Now on to his use of grammar…

    • Betty Boop says:

      Millions of dollars he has spent,I doubt it. Nothing else to write about, shame! so boring….

      • Impressive says:

        its a shame that people allow their political differences to shape their entire opinion of an individual, not to mention there tolerance for their concerns.. I am sure when he was talking about the money spent he was talking on behalf of the many customers who are also affected..

  2. Family Man says:

    You want to use an app on their network that cuts out their fee?

    That’s kind of like taking your own wine to a restaurant and demanding they serve it to you for free.

  3. Techie says:

    Pay your damn bill or upgrade your phone Mr. BLU! I have an iPhone 6S and whatsapp calls work perfectly on Digicel 3G, it is NOT BLOCKED! And I had a Samsung Galaxy S6 before that and I have no issues.

  4. Sickofantz says:

    I have digicel and I use facetime and skype so not sure how this is different.

  5. welllll says:

    However they do block the setup text message that whatsapp sends to activate the service…

  6. skytrain says:

    Works on CellOne everytime….no “Software Niggles” on their network

  7. Ha! says:

    I have an iPhone 5 and the feature works perfectly for me. Could it have been a temporary issue that folks are getting riled up about?

    Kind of like when my PlayStation store is unavailable and I can’t buy new games or apps? Hmph! That really grinds my gears.

  8. What??? says:

    You do realize that if you go over your data limit your bill will skyrocket by using what’s app calls right? Data is expensive!

    I don’t see the big deal. Get over it and connect to wifi. You’ll be saving a ton of money. In a way, digicel is doing you a favor.

  9. Pot puller says:

    What’s a niggle?
    I’m digicel my what’s app works.

  10. Lauren furbert says:

    I have a problem with this! I pay for data and once paid for it is mine to do with as I wish right?so what gives them the right to modify my package with out my consent ? May be I should be reimbursed for their limiting my use of the data I pay for. This is like buying a whole roast chicken but the legs have been removed to resell. Just niot right.

  11. Lauren furbert says:

    This happens in the Caribbean too I know for sure Barbados. So it us not a temp problem. Mine only works when I connect to my home wifi.

  12. hold on says:

    You could go vegetarian you won’t need the chicken)

  13. Y-Gurl says:

    It works fine on my iPhone I’m thinking user error

  14. Dis bie says:

    Switch to cell one then. Works fine. While you’re at it solve poverty and hunger. Don’t waste space with these first world problems

  15. Digihell says:

    i got a samsung. i have digiciel. my whatsapp and whatsapp calling has worked perfectly since the feature was started. i blame the binford. not digihell

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