It’s High Time PTCL Got Its Act Together!

Hasnain
February 15, 2016

PTCL, short for Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited, is the biggest and leading telecommunication provider in Pakistan having over more than 2 Million subscribers giving wired & wireless telephone and internet services all over Pakistan. However even though it’s widespread and boasts huge coverage areas in comparision to other services, it still lacks to provide a consistent and satisfactory quality of service  along with customer service. A lot of customers are disgruntled by PTCL’s lack in performance and improvement of services related to internet. In this article we will point out some areas in which PTCL lacks and the ways it can improve its services across the nation. PTCL is the oldest organization in Pakistan which pioneered telephone services, wired broadband and recently introduced Smart TV services in Pakistan as well. SmartChoice.PK often gets queries from unsatisfied PTCL customers who are looking for alternate options. Hence we are well aware of the issues faced by them and in this blog post, we have  pointed out some of the major problems why customers are unsatisfied with the telecom provider and their possible solutions as well.

Lack of Proper Infrastructure:
First of all let’s talk about infrastructure. This is probably the Achilles heel of PTCL. They claim to be offering their services across Pakistan but the fact is that they have obsolete and outdated infrastructure and haven’t tried on improving and refining it with the latest technology advances. Even in major cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, PTCL services have been downright poor which is a surprise given the amount of customers and revenue they can generate if they give consistent services.

Lack of Investment in Future Technologies:
In wired connectivity PTCL is behind its competitors by still giving DSL broadband via copper cable whereas other competitors like StormFiber, Optix Fiber and Satcomm have already begun successful rollout of Fiber Optics based internet. Whereas other Broadband providers are taking the market by storm and getting a huge chunk of getting a rising number of broadband users onboard, the biggest telecom operator is  biting the dust and literally pays no heed to the need of the consumers and time both.

Then there also comes the issue of scalability I.e the telephone exchanges lack the capacity to handle new connections. Not just that, there are not enough feasibility checks before installing a new connection to ensure that the speeds commited will be delivered.

Trying to Do Too Much at One Time:
The situation is similar when it comes to  wireless technologies. PTCL  offers numerous wireless Mobile Broadband devices such as Evo Wingle and Charji Evo that boast of speeds between 9Mbps to 36Mbps however consumers are getting  speeds that are nowhere near even the promised speeds by the telecom operator. The underlying reason for this is inferior technology such as EV-DO which is  based on CDMA networks whereas every other ISP/Telco is offering services using 3G/4G networks which offer much better speeds and coverage. This is false advertising and the claims are too good to be true. PTCL is busy offering humongous packages ranging from 20-100Mbps however they are unable to give satisfactory speeds to even 2,4 or 8Mbps users.

Customer Service Issues:
In the end let’s talk a little about Customer Services. This is the backbone of any telecom operator as they handle queries and complains by new and existing customers. However due to the lacking quality of services, the customer services and support department are always overburdened with calls with the users complaining about lack of speeds. Obviously the customer support representatives are short on time and are thus forced to give unsatisfactory and pre-written replies that only aggravates the consumer further and thus a customer thinks of switching the ISP.

We believe that PTCL can surely make things better if they do a self-assessment and prioritize resolution of issues to retain existing customers instead of generating new business. Based on our limited understanding, we propose possible solutions to these variety of issues
1)  Discontinue or limit higher speed packages to specific areas in major cities only and  start giving consistent services to 2-8Mbps subscribers.

2) Initiate a roll out of Fiber Optics based internet services as soon as possible in major cities of Pakistan and communicate the rollout plans  to your existing customers.
3) Upgrade the infrastructure where the number of active consumers is the highest to the latest technology along with increasing network capability to offer better quality of services and improved coverage.

4) Offer promotions/packages that are backed by consistent and reliable quality of services that are not just for short term financial gains.
5) Coordinate with the CSR department to know of the complains being faced by customers and setting up technical support in such a way that addresses such qualms in real-time or as soon as possible basis.

5) Put such SOPs in place that once a customer lodges a complain against the service, it reaches the desired department and is effectively resolved by the respective technical and support staff.

Final Word:

In lieu of the above mentioned issues PTCL should now seriously consider and improve at the earliest because it’s high time PTCL got its act right and upped its game and really showed its competitors that it’s Pakistan’s largest telecom operator having the most coverage but at the same time offering consistent and satisfactory speeds to its consumers as well. We do hope that the word is spread and someone at PTCL with the right authority and capability takes notice of these shortcomings and strives to improve on the brand name and bring back loyal customers as well as attract new customers towards choosing PTCL as their telecom and internet services provider.

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