i-Cable sales staff accused of misleading new subscribers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 June, 2007, 12:00am

The Democratic Party claims to have been flooded with public complaints about disreputable cable television salesmen.

Ten party members voiced their concerns to i-Cable Communication's headquarters in Tsuen Wan yesterday, saying more than 100 new subscribers were misled when signing contracts for the service.

Democratic Party Community Officer Eric Lam Lap-chi said most of the complaints had come in the past two weeks and were from a new housing estate in Kwai Chung in the New Territories.

The company's salesmen allegedly promised services that were not delivered and signed some customers up to services they did not want, according to Mr Lam.

'Some were told they were signing for plan 'A' but when the service started they were in fact given a plan 'B',' Mr Lam said. 'Others wanted broadband internet but instead ended up with television. Basically, people were angry that the company had tricked them.'

Complaints to the provider's hotline were dismissed, Mr Lam said.

A spokesman for i-Cable Communications said there had been 'some problems' with the hotline system recently but the company had addressed these issues.

He defended the company's sales tactics and denied a large number of unsuspecting customers had been tricked into signing up.

'Sometimes people make up excuses to try and get out of their contracts,' he said.

The spokesman said there were strict systems in place for new customers who signed contracts.

'We go through the contract with them item by item and channel by channel before it is authorised.'

If customers were not happy with the package they could modify it.

Last month the Consumer Council revealed an 18 per cent increase in complaints against pay television providers - from 735 in the first three months of last year to 867 this year.

Most complaints were about lack of network coverage when they moved flat, renewal of contracts without notification, and suspect sales tactics.