CFM lends help­ing hand to black­listed mo­bile phone service sub­scribers

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

CYBERJAYA: Not many peo­ple know what to do when their names are black­listed by CTOS and CCRIS and they are un­able to get credit.

What ex­actly are CTOS and CCRIS and what is the dif­fer­ence be­tween them?

CTOS, the acronym for Credit Tip Off Service Sdn Bhd, is a pri­vate com­pany while CCRIS, the short form for Cen­tral Credit Ref­er­ence In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem, comes un­der the purview of Bank Ne­gara Malaysia.

Both CTOS and CCRIS are tasked with pro­vid­ing credit re­ports for bank­ing cus­tomers and loan ap­pli­cants.

Ac­cord­ing to Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Con­sumer Fo­rum of Malaysia (CFM) chair­man Mo­hamad Yus­rizal Datuk Yusuf, CTOS is a pri­vate com­pany that pre­pares credit re­ports that are widely used by fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to de­ter­mine the cred­it­wor­thi­ness of their clients.

“CTOS is also a source of ref­er­ence for cred­i­tors, Ma­jlis Amanah Rakyat, Tekun Na­sional and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. For ex­am­ple, if some­one wants to be an in­sur­ance agent, the com­pany will re­fer to CTOS and if the in­di­vid­ual con­cerned is found to have been black­listed, he will not be al­lowed to be­come an in­sur­ance agent,” he told Bernama in an in­ter­view, here re­cently.

It is usual for fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to get a credit report from not only CTOS but CCRIS as well to get a full pic­ture of a bor­rower’s credit stand­ing.

To pre­pare its credit re­ports, CTOS col­lects credit-re­lated in­for­ma­tion from various pub­lic sources such as the Na­tional Reg­is­tra­tion Depart­ment, Malaysian In­sol­vency Depart­ment, Com­pa­nies Com­mis­sion Malaysia, pub­li­ca­tions of le­gal pro­ceed­ings and no­tices in news­pa­pers and gov­ern­ment gazettes.

CTOS, how­ever, does not of­fer opin­ions or com­ments and nei­ther does it black­list any in­di­vid­ual but its credit re­ports will act as a source of ref­er­ence be­fore banks and credit card is­suers ap­prove ap­pli­ca­tions for loans and credit cards.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mul­ti­me­dia service providers also make use of CTOS’ service to black­list cus­tomers who de­fault on their bill pay­ments.

Many service providers in Malaysia list the names of their cus­tomers who de­fault on their pay­ments in the De­fault­ers Data­base Man­age­ment Fa­cil­ity (DDMF). If the amount owed by the de­faulter is sig­nif­i­cant, his or her name will be listed in CTOS.

DDMF is among the debt col­lec­tion mech­a­nisms used by credit re­port­ing agen­cies and it can only be ac­cessed by the service providers in­volved.

Cur­rently, DDMF is be­ing utilised by telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions service providers to share the names of their cus­tomers who fail to set­tle their bills within the pre­scribed time limit.

Service users whose names end up in the CTOS list will face dif­fi­culty when ap­ply­ing for fi­nan­cial ser­vices from banks.

Various fac­tors can cause the names of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions service users to land in the CTOS list. They in­clude dis­sat­is­fac­tion over bill dis­putes; mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion by sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives; service in­ac­ces­si­bil­ity; user be­hav­iour; un­re­solved com­plaints; fail­ure to ter­mi­nate service; false reg­is­tra­tion; and poor billing sys­tem.

For ex­am­ple, if a user is not able to ac­cess the broad­band service he has sub­scribed to and de­cides not to pay the bill and, thus ig­nores the no­tice for pay­ment, his name can turn up in the CTOS list.

In­di­vid­u­als who are listed in CTOS as a re­sult of is­sues over telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices will be im­posed a penalty charge by their service provider.

Yus­rizal said while service providers have dif­fer­ent mech­a­nisms, users whose names were listed in CTOS for de­fault­ing on their bill pay­ments can be black­listed and pre­vented from sub­scrib­ing to the ser­vices pro­vided by an­other telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions service provider.

“For in­stance, if a user doesn’t pay up Telco A’s bill and wishes to switch to Telco B, he will not be able to do so un­til he has set­tled his out­stand­ing pay­ment.

“It will also be dif­fi­cult for the user to ap­ply for a loan be­cause his (credit) record will be used as a ref­er­ence by the fi­nan­cial institution,” he said.

Malaysia has about 35 mil­lion telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions users and 40 telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies.

One of the rea­sons con­sumers find their names land­ing in the CTOS list is due to their lack of un­der­stand­ing of their telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions service provider’s billing mech­a­nism.

Yus­rizal said users have to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with their re­spec­tive ac­count’s billing cycle and the billing pe­riod and fi­nal date for re­ceipt of pay­ment.

“If the billing cycle be­gins on the 28th of each month, the billing pe­riod will start on Jan 28, for in­stance, and end on Feb 28. So, iden­tify your billing cycle and the fi­nal date for pay­ment,” he ex­plained.

Users are also ad­vised to check their pay­ment sta­tus and update their bills when mak­ing pay­ment.

Users should also read and un­der­stand the terms and con­di­tions of the agreement be­fore sub­scrib­ing to any service.

“Very of­ten, the user doesn’t take the terms and con­di­tions se­ri­ously when sub­scrib­ing to a service. When the user is un­happy with the In­ter­net service and net­work cover­age, he can­not switch to an­other service provider be­cause he may have signed a twoyear con­tract with the ex­ist­ing provider,” said Yus­rizal. If the user stops us­ing the service he had sub­scribed to, he still has to pay the service provider be­cause the billing process takes place ev­ery month.

Should a user have a prob­lem with a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions service he has sub­scribed to, it is best for him to get his service provider to re­solve the is­sue.

If his prob­lem re­mains un­re­solved, he should seek the help of the Malaysian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Com­mis­sion, said Yus­rizal.

In the event a user de­cides to ter­mi­nate the service, he should as­cer­tain the sta­tus of his fi­nal bill, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion on any charges to be in­curred.

If the user fails to set­tle the fi­nal bal­ance pay­ment, even if it is as low as RM10, his name will be listed in CTOS should the amount re­main un­set­tled for a long pe­riod.

Users are ad­vised to get a let­ter from their service provider ac­knowl­edg­ing the full set­tle­ment of their bill af­ter hav­ing ter­mi­nated their ser­vices.

They should keep with them a copy of the let­ter or any proof of bill set­tle­ment just in case of dis­putes later on.

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