Surfline pledges to compensate customers

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Dr Akoto speaking to the media. On his right is Dr Omane-Boamah

The Chief Executive Officer of Surfline, Ghana’s first LTE 4G service providers, Dr Yaw Akoto, has assured customers of its network that the company has adequate back-up that will enable it to restore the programmes and data lost prior to the fire outbreak that destroyed its data centre on February 1.

He also pledged the company’s commitment to compensate customers for the loss as soon as service was restored. 

Dr Akoto gave the assurance when the sector minister, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, and the Chief Director of the ministry, Mr Issah Yahaya, visited the company’s data centre at Tema to express sympathy for the heavy loss it has suffered.

On February 1, fire gutted the data centre of Surfline at Tema, destroying all the equipment that forced the company to shut down its service.

Although the cost of the destruction is yet to be disclosed, sources say the damage runs into several millions of United States dollars.

Dr Akoto addressed the media shortly after the minister and his entourage had inspected the centre and said the company’s engineers were working around the clock to restore services, adding that “we want to assure customers that the service would soon be restored.”

Asked whether the company suspected sabotage, he said “the cause of the fire is under investigation and we will make public the cause of it as soon as that is completed”.

Dr Omane-Boamah explained that the visit was to show solidarity and to assess the level of damage.

He said the damage caused was extensive because that fire in a telecommunication company was different from that of fires recorded in homes and offices. 

Dr Omane-Boamah expressed satisfaction at the pace at which engineers of the company were working around the clock to restore connectivity.

“It is also worth noting that the company is still in touch with its customers to assure them of work in progress to restore service while they wait,” he said.

The minister said the 4G network remained the best so far, considering its speed and quality, and as such he urge other telecommunication companies to learn lessons from what happened and work to avert such accidents on their network. 

Meanwhile, as of February 5, the company had sent text messages to its customers saying “You can access our 4G LTE network for free from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. this evening and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for testing.”

It, however, warned that “Connectivity may be intermittent in this period.”

Customers react

However, some customers the Daily Graphic spoke to expressed regret at the incident and urged the company to work faster to restore service because “we are unable to get faster service from other players to keep our work going the way we want it.”