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South Korea telco publicly apologize for service outage, would other telcos do the same?

Earlier yesterday, South Korea’s largest telecommunications company SK Telecom announced that it will be compensating its subscribers whom were affected by a six-hour downtime last Thursday, March 20.

According to Korea Herald, at least 5.6 million subscribers in Seoul and nearby provincial areas were affected by network failure last week with some users not being able to make phone calls, send and receive text messages, and access the Internet.

Due to the network failure, the company will refund all of its 27.43 million subscribers the value of a day’s subscription (averaging 1,200 won per user) and is expected to spend at least 33 billion won ($33 million). For the affected 5.6 million subscribers, they will be compensated 10 times the cost of their monthly plans, more than what is stipulated in SK Telecom’s customer clause.

Under SK Telecom’s customer clauses, if a network failure lasts for over three hours in one day or over six hours in a month and users are not at fault, they can be compensated with six times the phone charges for the duration of the glitch.

SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-min (second from right) and company executives bow during a public apology for the mobile operator’s service failure at its headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Speaking to reporters after a shareholders’ meeting on Friday, SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-min apologized for the incident, “I apologize to shareholders and customers for yesterday’s incident. We will compensate for the damages with more money than stated in the customer clauses.

The service outage comes only a week after the operator had technical problems with its LTE and 3G network equipment causing internet disconnection for its customers. SK Telecom blames its most recent glitch on faulty home location registration systems which affected the network’s ability to find callers’ base stations.

Technical glitches naturally happen as time wears down the infrastructure of the telecommunication network. We wonder if other telco networks in the region would respond similarly as SK Telecom, which definitely won our respect.

Also read: The entire SingTel-WhatsApp saga in One Comic Strip

 

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