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Fair Trading Commission issues Decisions on Standards of Service for Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited and the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited for the period July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017


The Fair Trading Commission has issued Standards of Service Decisions for Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited’s (C&W) landline telephone services and the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) for the period 1 July, 2014 to 31 March, 2017. The purpose of standards of service is to ensure that a minimum quality of service is maintained, provide incentives for improvement, create conditions for customer satisfaction and generally protect the interest of consumers. The standards of service include both Guaranteed Standards, for which customers will receive compensation for breaches, and Overall Standards. The Commission employs Overall Standards to assess the performance of the companies and there is no compensation to customers for breaches of these overall standards.

The Utilities Regulation Act, Cap.282B provides the Commission with the authority to determine and enforce standards of service.

Generally the review of the standards showed that, in some cases, there was a low level of claims for standards that required customers to claim manually. In this regard the Commission has sought to expand, where feasible, the number of standards for which automatic compensation will now apply. Compensation will be paid as a credit on the customer’s bill.

BL&P – Guaranteed Standards of Service

The group of Guaranteed Standards to which automatic compensation applies will now include Fault Repair Customer’s Service (GES1), Voltage Complaint (GES3) and Reconnection (GES7). This means that customers will no longer be required to make a manual claim for compensation under these standards if the BL&P does not meet the prescribed target. For the above standards as well as the existing Simple Service Connection (GES4) and Connect or Transfer of Service (GES6), for which automatic compensation is already in place, customers should see a credit on a subsequent bill, once the issue has been resolved.

BL&P – Overall Standards of Service

In relation to overall standards of service, a new standard – Billing Period (OES6) – has been introduced. It requires the BL&P to bill, at minimum, 95% of its customers for no more than 33 days of service on all issued bills. The Commission expects that this will reduce the number of customers who receive bills with long billing periods. In addition, the Frequency of Meter Reading Overall Standard (OES1) has been strengthened to require the BL&P to advise customers when its meter readers have been experiencing difficulty in executing their duties as a result of issues such as locked gates and unrestrained dogs.

C&W – Guaranteed Standards of Service

Automatic compensation has been extended to Repeated Loss of Service (GTS3) and Wrongful Disconnection (GTS7). For the Installation of Service after Approval (GTS1B) and Reconnection after Disconnection (GTS6) automatic compensation is already in place. In addition, customers will also receive automatic compensation for breaches of Fault Repair (GTS2). For this standard customers will receive a prorated credit based on their monthly landline rental for the period of time they are without landline service when it is confirmed that there was a fault on the C&W network. It means that for breaches of five of the seven Guaranteed Standards customers will receive automatic compensation.

C&W – Overall Standards of Service

The Commission has reduced the Overall Standards of Service for C&W from seven (7) to six (6) with the removal of the Interactive Voice Response Standard (OTS7). The Commission, having reviewed this matter, is now of the view that the standard dealing with Customer Service Response Time (OTS6), which measures the time taken for a Customer Service Agent to answer the customer’s call, adequately monitors the performance of the C&W Call Centre.

Please select here for the related standards charts, decisions and orders...

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