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Although Malaysians will be celebrating their 50th year of independence this year, public services are still nothing to shout about. One public service we can't do without is the Internet service. Malaysians are at the mercy of Telekom Malaysia Berhad for our Internet connection. As with all monopolies we have to put up with them or shut up.

Although I have broadband connection through Streamyx, I am constantly left without an Internet connection almost every month for long periods. The last time I reported a fault was on June 15, 2007. It took Streamyx technicians six days to solve the problem. What shocked me was that when I phoned their Customer Relations Department a few days after I reported the fault, I was told that a technician had fixed the problem, phoned me and I had confirmed to him over the phone that I now had Internet access. This is a blatant lie!

No one from Streamyx called me. This entry in my report about someone calling me was read out to me over the phone by several customer relations officers at 1300 88 9595. An officer, Razali Ali, even had the cheek to tell me that he had another two days to solve my problem because he had to re-open the file.

The file should never have been closed because no one called me and I'm sure it is probably because no one even bothered to fix the problem. What the Streamyx technicians did for those two days, God only knows. Perhaps they decided to go for 'teh tarik' and then lodge a false report that they had called me to cover themselves.

Worse, this was not the only time this happened. On April 23, 2007, Streamyx took eight days to solve my problem. All the hype about Streamyx solving technical problems in 48 hours is a myth. Again my file was closed for some other false reason and re-opened so that it took Streamyx eight days to solve the problem.

Prior to this, I again had no connectivity on March 19. And the list goes on and on and on. Yet, I have to pay the full amount for my Streamyx bill every month. It was impossible to speak to any of the supervisors either, even though I had a serious complaint concerning a false report lodged in my file. Four different customer relations officers at different times of the day gave me the standard answer - no supervisor was available to take my call.

Finally an officer called Hafiz offered to fill up a form and submit it to his supervisor called Jaya to let her know that she had to urgently call me. Yet this Jaya person never called.

As a result of Streamyx irresponsible behaviour and incompetence, I was forced to go over to Telekom Malaysia Berhad's head office in Bangsar. Prior to that, no one answered any of my calls at Telekom's Corporate Communications Department although the phone calls were made about 2:30 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2007.

When I finally went over to Telekom's head office, Assistant Managers Ms Zeta and Ms Haini promptly informed me that everyone at Corporate Communications was away at meetings except them. Whatever these meetings were, they certainly weren't benefitting the public. Neither was their RM600 million building.

The privatisation of Telekom has brought nothing but woe to the public because it is still a monopoly in many ways. Telekom has a monopoly on the fixed line network and a considerable market share of the mobile communications market. It is the sole DSL broadband provider in the country.

A free market forces companies to work hard to improve their services in order to get ahead, resulting in better services for the consumer. These companies deserve to do well and deserve our business because they work hard to prove themselves.

Instead, after 50 years of independence, Malaysians are forced to tolerate poor service at exorbitant prices, probably because we are paying for RM600 million buildings and not for quality of service.

I'm now conducting a public survey to get feedback from other users of Streamyx. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any complaints about this broadband service.