Letter of Complaint to Cable and Wireless – Barbados

Barbados Free Press received this letter of complaint against Cable and Wireless and we print it unedited except for the removal of the customer’s account number and home address. We invite Cable and Wireless to respond and we promise to print their unedited response in the same spot.

Following is a letter that I have sent to Cable and Wireless expressing my displeasure with their service.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mr. Irvine Boyce
Complaints Manager
Cable & Wireless
Windsor Lodge
St. Michael

Dear Mr. Boyce,

My name is Philip Hunte of the above address and for your reference, my account number is ****************. Your records will show that I applied for a telephone at this address in July of 2002 and that I received the installation, after much effort on both myself and my wife’s part, in October of 2004. In March of the following year, we signed up for the offered ADSL service and were quickly accommodated.

You will realize that we live in a ‘high rainfall’ area of the island and that we received our telephone in the height of the rainy season. We were so glad to get a phone that my family did not mind the constant humming on the line. I myself found it to be a nuisance and would frequently use my cellphone rather than subject my ears to what sometimes would be a dreadful hum or crackle. We have lodged countless complaints, and in the 37 months that we have had a telephone, there has never been a day that I can say that the line is “clear”. We discontinued our “high speed” internet in December of 2006 for lack of service/speed/connectivity and switched to Telebarbados and have been very happy with the service/speed/connectivity that we have received from this provider. You will find numerous complaints from myself and my wife logged with customer “service” regarding our lack of internet.

In order to negotiate a credit for the last two months of my internet service for which I had paid but got no service, I had to spend nearly 2 hours of my time in line at Windsor Lodge. I do not intend for this to happen again, it is a waste of my time.

I myself provide a service and install equipment and when faulty equipment is installed, it has to be replaced and credits given. It is the law. It is good business practice; otherwise the client will go to the competition. Oh, I forgot, there is no competition.

I have come to realize that it is not in your interest to repair my telephone line as it will only cost you money. In order for me to have any semblance of a telephone line, I have to pay…..in full…..every month. If I decide to withhold as much as one cent, I will be cut off and be made to pay a reconnection fee. I can call and complain until the cows come home and you do not have to do a thing because the money will still be paid in hope that “the phone will be fixed next week”.

My reason for writing this letter (apart from being able to vent my disgust) is to ask you to personally look into my case and have it rectified so that I can hear my Mother when she calls to wish us “Merry Christmas”. I would also like you to issue a credit to the tune of 37 months of service (I can only ask).


Philip Hunte

PS. This letter is being copied to The Nation, Advocate, Starcom Network, The Barbados Free Press and the Fair Trading Commission in the hopes that someone in the first three media houses will have the guts to defy your company’s advertising clout and publish it.



Filed under Barbados, Business

25 responses to “Letter of Complaint to Cable and Wireless – Barbados

  1. First World Nation

    Over two years waiting for a simple telephone to be installed on an island only slightly bigger than a bread box?

    That kind of service is sure to attract business clients to Barbados! I only had to wait 6 months in Moscow back in the 80’s.

  2. greenbb

    So the interference is weather related? I thought it was the cheap phone!

  3. Hants

    TeleBarbados has an opportunity to replace Cable and Wireless Internet service.

    TeleBarbados must start out delivering Quality service and make the customer happy.

    If they deliver the service they are paid for, Cable&Wireless will lose market share.

  4. Thistle

    Cable & Wireless should get a prize for the most feeble excuses for their shoddy service. The guests at Atlantis Hotel have to put up with severe interference on the guest telephone. Not the weather this time – the excuse is the salt air from the sea! Yet, the main reception phone works without interference. I guess C & W think we are all a bunch of idiots.

  5. Hants

    The Cable and Wireless story is pathetic.

    Why do Telephones work in Toronto and Montreal in winter when it is -10 degrees and the ground is covered in snow and Ice?

    Breakong news….

    “GOVERNMENT is amending the 1994 Evidence Act to permit the use in court of documents recording messages produced by telecommunications apparatus and carriers providing international telecoms services as well as tape recorded confessions.

    A demand for IP addresses from service providers may be a consequence of this move.

  6. peltdownman

    I don’t know what “greenbb” is getting at, but I, too, live in a high rainfall area, and my ‘phone buzzes all the time, and I have the “top of the line” phone sets purchased for C&W. Even though ADSL is available in my area, I have decided not to apply, as I know that the interference on my line will knock it out more often than not. Cable & Wirelss is a huge and “sophisticated” company with access to the best technology, and to provide this kind of shoddy service is unacceptable. My plan is to go to the competition for whatever services C&W now provide, where they are available.

  7. Frankology

    Within the ‘cost of living’ blog, I have been speaking of these companies with monopolies. We will never be able to get the cost based on service from these people. The bottom line is money, assets, profits and dividends. The word ‘loss’ is a word from the history books. The worst thing with Cable & Wireless, is you no longer have a real voice at their end. All you hear is press 1, 2. 3. We are now dealing with numbers and when you get to the information you need, you now have to put in real digits from your bill to hear again an automated voice. This is real high class robbery. No bones about it.

  8. Sapidillo

    If C & W is no longer a monopoly, why are those of us who are dissatisfied with their inferior service continuing to use it? This only leaves C&W as well as other businesses to believe that we, the customers, are all talk and no action, and telling us with their silence response to “put up or shut up.” Unless we take aggressive action such as closing the account and using another Provider/Carrier, where available, C&W’s indifferent attitude will be more of the same chit, different day.

    Shame on C&W customer service employees who would not appreciate receiving the same or worse service from companies which they do business with, as they themselves dish out to their employer customers — they would not be happy campers.

    Are C&W managers that powerless that they cannot waive certain charges?

  9. I was having trouble with ADSL service and wanted to withold payment of my latest Internet bill until the problem was solved.

    However I did not want to lose my telephone connection and incur a reconnection fee.

    I have paid my bills over Internet through my bank account which separate Cable & Wireless service into Internet Service and Telephone service. You can pay one and not the other. You get separate transaction code references if you do.

    However I could not do this as my Internet service was down, so went to Windsor Lodge. There the cashier told me that both parts of the bill had to paid in full. She would not let me pay for my telephone bill but NOT my internet bill. If I did so my phone would be disconnected.

    This is clearly unfair. Two services are provided and are billed separately. It should be possible to pay for them separately. To force people to pay Internet bills or have their telephone disconnected is an unfair trade practice which Min. of Consumer Affairs should protect us against.

    Cable & Wireless have been getting away with monopolistic behaviour like this far too long.

  10. Anonymous


    Try Digicel for a phone line via cellphone
    and TeleBarbados for a wireless internet service!

  11. greenbb

    Peltdownman…periodically there is interference on our cordless handset to the point where you cannot make out what the other person is saying; the next time it occurs I will make a note of the weather conditions at the time. As for the DSL on C&W it has not gone out in the last 2 months but one day for a few hours.

  12. Hants

    TeleBarbados for a wireless internet service.

    It is time Barbadians do what is right. It is riduculous to continue to be abused by C&W if you have an alternative.

    There is no good reason for such poor service from C&W especially since they had a monopoly for so many years and always making a profit.

  13. bp

    Freespeech: just for your info….ask any C & W customer service representative….THEY do not offer a credit to your account untill the problem is rectified…..some incentive for C&W to fix it!

  14. Pat

    Funny, I would not pay C&W one red cent until I had service. No one but Bajans pay for ‘non service’. The problems with the noise has nothing to do with the weather. It is the quality of the line brought into the house that whistles, sings and buzzes. Cheap, cheaper, cheapest. C&W should be using a high quality line to wire the houses so that sound is not lost from pole to house.

  15. Moved On

    I agree with peltdownman. Try telebarbados. I lived in St. Michael for years, and every rainy season my phone line gave trouble (all varieties of phones greenbb!). And of course my internet wouldn’t work! I always said thank goodness we didn’t have snow or ice rain! If C&W would spend some of the money they allocate to advertising (and the stupid question games: Text & Win! they put on CBC) and put it to upgrading their equipment, island wide, perhaps they would not have so many complaints.

  16. Anonymous

    Cable and Wireless?

    Careless and Wutless…

  17. Sundowner

    We call them Disable and Careless. We had no phone line at work for a WEEK, were told we were ‘priorty’ as it was a business, no ADSL in our area so no phone meant, no phone/internet/credit card machine. The daily excuse changed but the main one was – and I gather this is very common- there was no ‘bucket’ truck available! the problem was eventually fixed by a technician with a ladder.

  18. StarBoy

    WOW, I thought it was only me. I’m happy to see people are coming out and letting C&W’s horrible service, price gouging and their “we can do what we want and wunna got to tek it attitude”. THEY HAVE SCREWED US OVER FOR FAR TOO LONG!!

    Spread the word and let others know we are important. Without us the consumer, C&W is nothing. I heard a rumor a while back that Tele Barbados applied for domestic telephone licenses. If this is so, the day they start the service, I AM THERE.

  19. WirelessWammy

    it’s indeed funny to see how C&W gets to do this hogwash in the caribbean – yet their global network is offering a full day of reimbursed service for every 10 minutes of service outage… lol, if they offered that here We’d be getting free internet by the month load!

    ref: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2002/132261_05-06-2002.html

  20. I would like all local businesses who host their websites via cable and wireless to boycott their web hosting accounts.

    take a look at the following


    now cable and wireless charging $99 bds per month for a standard website with only 150 mb storage and 10 email addresses

    bluehost charge $6.95 us currency per month for 600GB and 2500 email accounts with different protocols.

    just take a close look and compare what you will get from bluehost, also note bluehost price is expensive compared to other webhost.

    i notified the fair trading commission about this matter about 4-5 months ago and nothing has been done.

    many people do want websites, but dont know de actual cost, just like people want computers and even some who got degrees in different technology areas and still gotta ask beginners questions about what they suppose to know, all in all, simply because we are not open to outside web hosting like how the local hosting services are, they will poke our eyes out.

    thank god im a geek

  21. do the calculations if you wanna host on cable and wireless for a year

    two months with cable and wireless will pay for a whole year with bluehost plus advertising on yahoo lol

  22. oh yes, imagine how much money they make from all de domains who host with the .bb or even host with them altogether, makes me go hmmm.

  23. nokia samsung motorola LG alcatel sony ericsson

  24. princess28

    c&w is so unfair and it is high way robbery i got a 10 phone card 1 and 90 for a 3 minute call robbery Rates: 30c during to day 20c on evenings 10c on weekend 20c for text messages Rates: for a digi to lime call 75c a minute 65c for a text message that is robbery

  25. subhash

    my uncle brought 1 cordless phone of cable & wire less from uk but due to some problem it get damaged so i want to repair it please tell me where i get the service centre in india to repair that set that was my lovely set .