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HomeNewsLocal newsLiberty V.I. Customers Demand Better Service

Liberty V.I. Customers Demand Better Service

Public Service Commission holds a listening session for Liberty V.I. customers. (Photo taken by Diana Dias)

Liberty V.I. customers appearing before the Public Service Commission on Wednesday evening put out a call to action to address a laundry list of complaints against the company.

While at least 20 community members were expected to attend, in-person testifiers totaled about 10, while another five emailed testimonies that were read during the listening session.

 “We are having these listening sessions so that we can hear directly from customers what they are experiencing.  We see a lot of complaints on social media on a regular basis. Up to this week I saw a number of complaints, even though we mentioned the migration process was completed at the end of March. We are still seeing the complaints out there,” PSC Executive Director Sandra Setorie said Wednesday.

Some testifiers complained about having to spend three hours at the Liberty store and long call times, roaming charges when visiting the mainland, dropped wireless service when using a GPS while driving and businesses not being able to process credit cards because of poor service. One testifier said she must walk with a Mifi purchased from VIYA in order to get reception after changing her SIM card on several occasions.

Liberty V.I. announced on April 2, that it had concluded the migration process for its mobile customers.  Since then, there have been multiple complaints against the mobile company.

Sharing her concerns Wednesday, attorney Karabo Molyneaux-Molloy referenced the upcoming hurricane season. “If we are not having adequate coverage now with Liberty, what plan do they have to protect us during the hurricane season,” she said. “They are our only source of communication. I don’t know anyone else who has house phones anymore, especially the seniors. What’s going to happen when the season hits and it’s supposed to be a very active season?”

Resident Dedra Peterson Heath, who attended in person, and her daughter Imani Heath, tuning in by phone, spoke about not wanting to let go of their family plan with their U.S. Virgin Islands area codes. “I just want a phone to make calls,” said Peterson Heath.

Imani Heath, who lives on the mainland, had more of a concern given that she uses her phone services daily. “My phone number is the only phone number with a Houston area code. Being that it is now on the Liberty network when my doctor’s office tries to call me, they say the number is not working. I’m no longer receiving text messages from my daughter’s school because I believe what is happening is those platforms they are using are not recognizing the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico lines anymore,” she said.

“When we were told we were switching from AT&T to Liberty we were told it was going to be a seamless transition and I would have to beg to differ. I am trying to convince my parents for us to move back to AT&T. For me I cannot wait a year for it to be rectified because it is messing up my day to day,” Imani Heath added.

Liberty’s Country Manager Ravindra Maywahlall also submitted a letter on behalf of Liberty to put on the record.  The message, however, had a more positive and hopeful tone for the future.

“With the migration process now complete we have the opportunity to offer permanent enhancements to the customer experience.  This includes greater agility and flexibility in creating our own customized plans, offers and packages tailored to the V.I. market,” the letter read.

 “Some customers may have experienced temporary service interruptions usually resolved by updating the device operating system or restarting the device.  In some cases, it may have been necessary to change or reconfigure the device or have a SIM card change. To ensure the best migration experience possible, customers were urged to pay attention to the company’s communication which provided valuable information about the updates. Liberty worked tirelessly to address any unexpected hardware or software issues that can impact customers,” he said.

Maywahlall also referenced Liberty as the “most reliable mobile network in the U.S. Virgin Islands according to Virginia based testing company, Global Wireless Solutions.”

He also said that Liberty received top marks as the best network overall in St. Thomas and best voice and voice quality in St. Thomas and St. Croix.

PSC officials encouraged the public to continue submitting testimony to Kiara James on St. Croix at 340-778-6010 or Sasha Davis on St. Thomas at 340-776-1291.

“We are asking the public to not just share the complaints on social media.  We can document them and can in fact use them as part of our record, but we need customers to contact our staff so that our staff can register those complaints so that we can have concrete details and information to continue our investigation,” Setorie said.

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