Cell phone rush at GTT&T office

Guyana Chronicle
May 3, 2001

MORE than 100 persons early yesterday morning flocked the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) Business Service Unit on Brickdam, Georgetown to connect new cellular phones and change to the new rates plan.

GT&T Public Relations Officer, Mr Robert Bazil explained that the build-up was because customers waited until the last minute to indicate their choice of plan.

GT&T new cellular (mobile phones) rates ordered by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) went into effect Tuesday.

As part of the package, customers are free to choose whatever plan they desire and according to Bazil, since the new plan was announced, the company had advised customers to have their plans changed before May 1.

He said a large number of new cell phone customers were also part of the early morning rush at the business branch and the company has gained many new customers because of the cheaper rates.

GT&T employees were yesterday morning busy trying to cope with the long line of people who flocked the building and compound.

Guards were monitoring the doorway while GT&T staff shared out forms and explained the new cellular rates systems to customers who were in the compound.

Some customers said they were happy with the reduced rates because they could not have paid the old rates and connection fee.

Others explained that they were too busy last month and were unable to change their plans, while some wanted staffers to explain the new cellular rate plans.

An East Bank Demerara businessman who spent more than 40 minutes in the queue said he visited the branch because he wants to purchase eight mobile phones for his senior employees.

He left without the phones but promised to return later in the day.

Most of the cell phone subscribers yesterday indicated that they were choosing the Caller Party Pays (CPP) plan.

The other plan is Receiving Party Pays (RPP). Under the CPP system, customers will no longer pay for receiving calls and a call from a land line to a cell phone will cost $10 per minute.

In relation to the message which comes on when dialing from land lines to cellular, Bazil noted that this is a permanent fixture because the company has the responsibility to inform customers of the price of the call.

He noted that it also gives customers a chance, if they want, to disconnect the call before it reaches the cell.

"This call is to a cellular party and costs $10 per minute. If you do not wish to incur this cost, please hang up now. If you are under 18 years of age, do not make this call without parental permission" is the message. (AMANDA WILSON)