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Jul 13, 2012

Unregistered customers lose phone service during cuts

Today is the deadline for registering your phones. And while traffic at both phone companies was relatively slow for the week, there are still outstanding prepaid cell phone customers that have not taken heed to the disconnection of telecommunication services issued as a statutory instrument by the Ministry of National Security back 2011 to curb crime. The deadline to register phones were set for March fifteenth and then extended to April twelfth. It was then subjected to another transfer to July thirteenth. News Five spoke with both Belize Telemedia Limited and SMART on the progress and the deadline which was set for six this evening.


Ian Courtenay, Public Relations Officer, Smart Belize

“Today is the final day that we have to register customers as communicated to us by the Ministry of National Security. So at the end of workday today, we have instructions to disconnect all accounts that have not been registered. As you mentioned, we have been—since last year—encouraging our customers to come in and register and today is the deadline. So today is the last time. Until six o’clock today, all our showrooms are open.”


Anjali Vasquez

Anjali Vasquez, P.R. Manager, Belize Telemedia Limited

“Offices are still opened today up until six p.m. and we’ll be taking registration until six p.m. So once you get in before then, you will be taken off the list for disconnection. At six o’clock, we will begin the process of disconnection which means that we will be doing that over time during the night.”


Duane Moody

“How is that going? Are there still outstanding cell phone users that haven’t come in?”


Anjali Vasquez

“Actually we have forty-five thousand, approximately, customers outstanding to register. But that is a dynamic number because like I said, up to six o’clock this evening; we will still be talking registration.”


Ian Courtenay

Jose Sanchez

“What happens if those who are delinquent decide on Monday to come in and want to register their phone, do they still have access to that number or do they have to start from scratch?”


Ian Courtenay

“Umm, no. I think those numbers will stay in the system for a short period and we’ll be communicating that to our customers that they will have maybe a grace period of maybe a month I would suspect. But we would advertize that if that is the case. But yes, when we do our cleanup process, those numbers if people have not come in and registered those numbers will go back into the pool that’s available for anyone coming in to buy.”


Anjali Vasquez

“Actually, we are going beyond that. Tomorrow morning at eight o’clock a.m., we will open offices. We are complying with government order by disconnecting today—they did state July thirteenth, so we are complying with that—but we do understand that a lot of these customers have balance on their phones, they have recent activity and they use the service. So we are opening at eight o’clock tomorrow morning for anybody who wants to come in and register their number and get reconnected. And at the time of reconnection, we will put the balance back on your account that you had at the time of disconnection. So you get everything back. It is just that at this point, you will have to register.  We’ll see how the traffic goes and of course we go by our customers’ needs. So if the customers, if you coming in to have their numbers reconnecting, we will keep reconnecting their numbers. We understand that everybody needs their service and of course the company wants you to keep your service so we are hoping that people come in.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Unregistered customers lose phone service during cuts”

  1. Storm says:

    Ouch! I’m not crazy about the loss of privacy that the new rules cause, but I’m sure criminals are more worried.

    I hope, however, that the GOB will get warrants before eavesdropping on any phone, so there is some showing of legal cause. Otherwise it is too easy to use it for political mischief, even blackmail.

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