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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Slow time

Slow time

Dear Editor,

May I use your pages to highlight what appears to be a little known fact about Mobitel.

That is the system clock they use to determine what rate you are charged runs approximately

five minutes slow.

The consequence of this is that users will be charged the rate applicable to the

previous time band in those five minutes. The implication of this is that one could

end up paying four times the rate you thought you were paying.

How do I know this? On Friday, May 3, 2002 I made a call at two minutes past nine.

I know it had gone nine as the BBC World Service News had started. On finishing my

call I checked to see how much I'd been charged only to find I'd been overcharged

by $3. On calling the Mobitel Customer Service I was told my call had actually commenced

at three minutes to nine. This is utter rubbish, for the reason above. I'd trust

the BBC to get the time right over Mobitel any day of the week.

Mobitel's Customer Service, though, were adamant the time on their system was right.

They couldn't understand that it didn't make sense for me not to wait the extra three

minutes to make the call or having failed to do that, that I would ring up and complain

about being overcharged.

The moral of the story is if you're going to use Mobitel don't ring until six minutes

(just to be safe) after the rate should have changed.

- Phillip Shaw, P.O. Box 912, Phnom Penh

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