PTCL’s failure to deliver Smart TV set-top boxes irks customers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) had heavily advertised its Smart TV service towards the end of the last month (September).

This was a major campaign for PTCL that offered free Smart TV devices for existing PTCL customers who were using 8Mbps and above broadband packages. Despite the usual sentiment of slow services synonymous with PTCL, this campaign appeared to have been well received.

The results of this new demand, however, still skewed towards a considerable number of dissatisfied customers. One customer Jawad Zafar told Pakistan Today that PTCL team took five days to install its services, while another customer complained that “it took a month and several calls to helpline, giving them order numbers again and again, asking their customer services department to connect me with floor manager, complaining yet again about the delay.”

He said that he was told it was due to “system delay” first and then “demand-supply issues” later.

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Other PTCL customers, including Farrukh Naseem, Naveed Malik, Kashif Munir Butt, Muhammad Arsalam Ahmed, Mashar Khan and Muhammad Saqib Mughal had similar complaints that despite placement of their orders in the last ten days of September, the service were not provided until the end of the month.

PTCL customer Sadiya Babar said, “I placed my order on 19th September, and since then I have been calling them (PTCL officials) only to hear that they will get it done in five days, or their team will be at our house in 48 hours, and so on. No one ever shows up.”

She continued, “Despite the fact that the PTCL services are not the best in the world, we have been using their telephone and internet for ages now, and yet they treat us like this. I have stopped calling now.”

When the PTCL management was approached for a response over the issue, three regional managers from Karachi and Lahore, as well as the communications department, all had the same response that “it must be individual cases”.

“There is no shortage of supply at our end and the services are also being provided on time,” said PTCL’s official statement to Pakistan Today.

Despite this, as per the customers that reached out to this scribe, the Smart TV services have yet to reach most of the customers who are either already PTCL’s customers or only chose to apply for the service because of the latest advertisement offering free set-top boxes only at the cost of the services. Whatever the reason may be, PTCL still has a long way to go in fulfilling its promises to customers and rebuilding its reputation as the national communication organization.

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Syeda Masooma
Writer is business reporter at Pakistan Today


  1. Consumers who continue to patronize PTCL’s services deserve to be treated like this. This is especially true now that 4G devices provide a suitable alternative. The cellcos’ services are so much better than PTCL’s so why do these people keep banging their heads against PTCL’s walls?

    PTCL itself is not interested in servicing end consumers. They focus their investment rupees on backhaul services because that’s where the money is for them. The cellcos can deal with the last mile more efficiently.

  2. > Consumers who continue to patronize PTCL’s services deserve to be treated like this. This is especially true now that 4G devices provide a suitable alternative. The cellcos’ services are so much better than PTCL’s so why do these people keep banging their heads against PTCL’s walls?

    That may be so for a large number of consumers. But for high volume users, and I am talking about 500 GB plus per month usage, PTCL beats down telecom services.

    Moreover, there is the case of the regular shutdown of cellular services in the country on several occasions. PTCL net connections keep working even when mobile services are down.

    4G isn’t a reliable alternative. We need more Fibre to Home providers like StormFiber to replace PTCL.

  3. PTCL /STB (Set Top Box) given for a fix cost/rental on Dhobi Ghat PTCL network that’s good for chat etc. My PTCL STB not activated for months, being reason for network is not supportive as it is Dhobi Ghat network. The FTTH network is not there.
    Under the UN/SDG the utility Telco., has to provide FTTH for efficient internet services, data Service, or entertainment by IPTV.
    In my area all companies had taken up the entire business of PTCL which they provide on FTTH as StormFiber, TransWorld, and many licensed companies are in que to provide FTTH services with GPon at good performance.
    When would this be feasible to PTCL should be asked from the USF, PTA,to comply the PTA targets for the SDG of Karachi.

  4. My comments in this article March 9, 2020 not responded at all.
    PTCL terresterial network which is being subsidised by the USF Government of Pakistan by providing the FTTH (Fiber to the Home) project whereby the USF covers major part of Pakistan with the FTTH for accession of PTCL ISP, G-Pon, which for years is claimed in my area where I have applied in Karachi not feasible for the company to provide G-Pon, IPTV. Despite the subsidy provided by the USF May I suggest the Honorable USF to please notify with signages bannners in the areas where USF carries development work for FTTH means the area could be on G-PON. In my area G-Pon is served by Cybernet, Storm Fiber, TransWorld, and many other ISP’s provide G-Pon services instantly, as well as IPTV.
    PTCL specialises on “Dhobi Ghat Network” which is based on old copper insulated cable which is used/sold to Dhobi Ghat for Drying Clothes.
    I suggest should investigate the reason why PTCL is not providing FTTH network to comply in my area where the USF has its network. Does PTCL has the right to delay/refuse the customer who has paid for the IPTV STB to say un-feasible. Is there any accountablity from USF to ask the last mile investment being made is not used.

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