It is no secret that the Indonesia’s Telecommunications Regulatory Body (BRTI) has been trying to get BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) to pay more attention regarding its Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service in Indonesia. Detik reported yesterday that BRTI has issued a formal statement to get telco operators and instant messaging service players like BlackBerry, WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat to give compensation if there’s a mishap regarding their IM services in the country.
There’s already a regulation whereby telco operators need to give compensation to users if the companies are deemed liable for the service error. There’s no details yet about how big of an error it would take for the regulation to take place, but most probably it only covers big errors like IM outage for more than four hours. But in the case of IM service error, the telco operators are not liable because the error is caused by another company. Furthermore, foreign IM companies are not responsible for compensation to users because there’s no regulation to enforce that action yet. This is why BlackBerry got away with just saying sorry for its five time BBM errors in Indonesia in the past years.
But now the playing field changed. If there’s an error regarding IM service in Indonesia, then the telco operators will need to compensate users because users are subscribing to the services through the telco.
The same report cites BRTI committee member Ridwan Effendi as saying they hope operators renew their cooperation with the IM players because of this new change. And I’m sure that the telcos would make sure the IM players will also make “contributions” should the telcos be forced to give compensation because of the IM errors.
BlackBerry has 15 million users in Indonesia, while Line has 14 million. Another major player in the top three IM services in the country is WhatsApp, and the numbers for chat apps will surely go up in Indonesia. I’d say that in the end, this seems like a great move by BRTI to ensure that IM players pay more attention to the quality of their services here, and to be more responsible.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)