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Cambodia's Smart Telecom has a history of questionable business practices under the leadership of its CEO Thomas Hundt





D. J. Ken - National Radio Text Service



Cambodia's Smart Telecom's deceptive business practices have come into focus. It was recently revealed by the company that when one of their customers leaves the country that they AUTOMATICALLY install and charge the customer ROAMING CHARGES



Sunday, January 31, 2016


It's understandable that when a customer deals with a company that you would hope that they would be honest, above board and transparent. On the front page of last weeks Cambodia Daily (Thursday January 28) noted that Cambodia is the most corrupt country in the region. This opinion most certainly could apply to Cambodia's Smart Telecom Company.

From the outset of the merger of the Smart and Hello Telecom companies in February 2013 there has been a radical change with the result being a decline in the quality of service and questionable business practices.

The most recent incident was a customer had to leave the country and wasn't sure when he could return. He went to a Smart customer service office and prepaid 6 months in advance for his telephone number so he wouldn't lose it. The payment left him with a significant balance.

The Smart customer's trip was five months shorter than expected but when he reentered Cambodia his phone wouldn't work. He discovered that his BALANCE WAS DEPLETED.

He then topped up $2 and that balance disappeared in 2 minutes and 2 seconds before he could use his phone and was trying to connect to the Internet. The quick disconnect didn't make sense since the consumer had an Internet access plan of 500 MB for one month for $1 that he never used.

When he returned to the Smart office where he made his purchase he was informed that he left his phone on and was on their ROAMING PLAN and that his balance was depleted due to his use of their ROAMING service.

The customer then informed the Smart rep that he didn't have ROAMING and NEVER ORDERED IT. Then came one of the shocks of his life as the Smart rep informed him that when a Smart customer leaves the country that Smart Telecom installs their ROAMING SERVICE AUTOMATICALLY. The translation of that is they set themselves up to steal.

WHAT!!!!! The customer said… and noted that they couldn't do that and it was an illegal practice in America to install and charge an unknowing client services that they never ordered and didn't want. Cambodia being the most corrupt country in the region could be applied here.

The consumer was then informed by the supervisor of the office that it was the way Smart does business and he would have to accept that and the loss (theft) of his money.

The supervisor went on to say that the top up disappeared because after crossing the Thai border into Cambodia that his phone was still on the ROAMING service of their Thailand telecom partner who they failed to reveal. He pointed out that ROAMING WAS EXPENSIVE as an explanation why the money disappeared.

The client then informed the supervisor that when he paid six months in advance that the Smart service rep asked him if he wanted ROAMING. His reply was NO. He pointed out that he had a telephone number in his destination (Thailand) for 16 years, long before was a Smart telecom was in business in Cambodia, and that he didn't need it.

The Smart customer then asked the supervisor that if they automatically put something into his phone that he didn't want how he could get it out. The Smart supervisor said, "You can take it out yourself."

The reply from the customer was since he didn't put it in how would he know how to take it out and insisted that the Smart supervisor take it out. The result was he did but refused to reimburse the customer his seizable balance but did credit the $2 top up that disappeared before he could use the phone.

The customer then asked were they serious that they were charging him ROAMING charges for them to send him their SPAM MESSAGES TRYING TO SELL HIM THEIR PRODUCTS. THERE WAS NO REPLY.

The client then informed Smart that explains why his PHOTOS and VIDEO'S in his phone were corrupted to thumbnail sizes. The Smart supervisor failed to reply. Smart Telecom has a HISTORY of UNSAVORY BUSINESS PRACTICES.

In a May 28, 2014 issue of the Cambodia Daily they published a report that the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TIC) notified Smart that it could face legal action for attempting to lure customers away from then rival operator qb.

qb accused Smart of damaging its reputation and financial interests after the two firms agreed to terminate a long-standing agreement that allowed qb customers to tap into Smart's network when they were roaming.

Before the termination agreement was carried out, qb began receiving calls from customers who said that Smart was contacting them to switch to Smart's network.

The government's position was that Smart violated sections of Prakas 206 on network interconnection, which regulates domestic roaming agreements. They informed Smart to immediately stop luring qb customers and damaging qb's reputation.

At that time Smart's then and current CEO Thomas Hundt ducked the issue and declined to comment.

The lack of integrity, the lack of transparency and the lack of quality of service is the issue. Smart repeatedly bombards their customers with SPAM messages urging them to PURCHASE various products and services and are diligent in their effort.

At the same time they never inform their customers when they change a plan such as the codes to call internationally at a reduced rate. The same technology that they use to sell could be used to inform.

Their purpose could be interpreted as being DISHONEST, selfish and deceptive in order to trap their clients into a plan so that they can steal their money. As they put it… "IT'S AUTOMATIC."



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