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Georgian Telecom Charged with “International Swindle”

28.04.2004

Georgian Telecom Charged with “International Swindle”

Lia Mukhashavria, the head of the Subscribers’ Rights Defense Service of the Georgian Communication Commission (GCC), blames Georgian Telecom for an “international swindle”.

Georgian Telecom may have illegally charged subscribers for making phone calls to the Cookie Islands. The profit on these calls, never actually made, allegedly went directly to Georgian Telecom.

Mukhashavria explains that when using the Internet, the telephone subscribers were linked to the Cookie Islands through Telecom. Entry to the network is possible only by dialing index Asn – 810, which costs approximately14GEL per minute. The subscribers connecting with the Cookie Islands used the computer programs Dialer and GoIn. Unbeknownst to them, Georgian Telecom then allegedly connected them automatically to the island. Subscribers only learned about the extra charges when they received the bill.

In April of last year, one subscriber filed a complaint with the GCC about this violation. The GCC is currently investigating 4 different complaints, with possible fines of more than 4,000GEL.

Mukhashavria says that she tried severalt times to contact the management of Georgian Telecom about this problem, but was unsuccessful. If no solution can be reached soon, she threatened to bring the case to court.

 

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