The government announced today that it will make the mobile telephone giant, Movistar, pay its customers $185m in compensation after it suffered a service failure last April.
The Planning Minister, Julio de Vido, also announced that the company will have to pay the government just under $7m in fines for the “brusque interruption of the service” on April 2nd.
The service failure directly affected the company’s 18m users, according to the minister but also made it impossible for customers from other networks to communicate with them. The minister believes that the total number affected was around 30m.
Movistar is now ordered to take $10 off all its customers’ next bills. The sanction is about “being preventative and making an example” and the minister said that there was no excuse for a failure of that magnitude.
The minister continued by stressing that the “government is at the forefront of technology” and is investing a lot in the telecommunications industry – such as laying fibre optic cables in Tierra del Fuego – and that the private sector in return had to provide a minimum level of service and investment.
“The service isn’t as high quality as it was a year ago,” he stressed, referring to the whole telecommunication sector. “We are going to demand that landline providers make the investments that today they are not making. This is a warning and not a threat; we are going to call on them to invest.”