An emerging number of Internet users are accusing Telekom Malaysia Bhd of double-dipping - offering an "upgrade" to its Unifi services without automatic cancellation of their Streamyx services.
This has resulted in many customers being charged for the pricier Unifi services, a fibre-optic network, on top of their existing Streamyx services, which runs on the slower DSL network.
The problem appears to stem from the fact that Telekom's Unifi and Streamyx unit are separate entities, with the former's resellers not helping customers terminate their Streamyx services as part of the "upgrade package".
Tan Wei Tee, a producer at NTV7, told Malaysiakini that he has been billed for both services since July.
He became annoyed after receiving SMS reminders to settle his bills, despite having diligently paid those for the new Unifi service, and called the company for details.
To his shock, Tan found out that his Streamyx account was still active and he would need to settle an outstanding amount.
"I thought (the bill) is for Unifi, however, it turned out to be Streamyx bill. How could I distinguish the Unifi from the Streamyx bill?" he asked.
'Upgrade' or additional product?
However, the company was willing to waive the amount but he would still need to fill in some papers at a Telekom outlet.
The matter has yet to be resolved at the time of writing this report.
"It is illogical. If I am already subscribing to Unifi, why would I need Streamyx?" he asked.
For Lee Way Loon, a Malaysiakini journalist, not only had he to pay two bills for a few months but was repeatedly badgered by tele-promoters offering the same product even after having been "upgraded".
"I had to scold them before they stopped bugging me," he said.
Similar complaints were spotted on Facebook. Singer Yu Heng uploaded a post warning her followers to avoid having to pay two bills.
"Friends, remember to terminate your Streamyx account after you apply for Unifi. They won't help you cancel it. I am frustrated. I have been paying double for seven months.
"I already 'upgraded' my service. Why I should need to terminate the old service? I have spent a lot of money calling (Telekom from overseas) and until now it has yet to be resolved
Her post also included a definition of the term "upgrade", which she defined as a "replacement" of a product with a newer version of the same product.
Streamyx, Unifi operate independently
Responding to Yu Heng's post, a Facebook user by the name of Julia Chin warned that Telekom did not fulfil a request made by telephone to terminate the Streamyx service.
Instead, she was later told that she could only do so at a Telekom office.
When contacted, a Telekom representative identified only as Eza said an automatic termination of a Streamyx account only happens if an Unifi application is made at a Telekom outlet.
"If the customer subscribes to Unifi at shopping complex dealers, or through the phone, then customers are advised to terminate their Streamyx subscription at a Telekom outlet."
Asked why Unifi resellers do not straightaway terminate the Streamyx accounts, the reply was that these agents would not know if the customers intend to keep their old accounts.
She also confirmed that Streamyx and Unifi are two different units within Telekom, operating independently of each other.