Public Mobile’s Early Days Bring Complications

by Jordan Richardson on June 30, 2010

It’s hardly common for new cell phone companies, or new companies of virtually any kind for that matter, to hit a few snags upon opening their doors. Public Mobile is no different and the company’s Quebec launch is going less than smoothly.

The company is targeting first-time cell phone purchasers and wants to generate good buzz as Quebec’s newest provider, but they’ve been having some trouble there since rolling out the network on Friday morning.

There have been dozens of complaints over the company’s service thus far, with many posted on Public Mobile’s website.

Public Mobile, to its credit, has already sprung into action offering full refunds to some customers without service. Customers in the West Island, as well as LaSalle and Verdun, have been issued refunds because the company revealed it would take up to a month to get service there.

Still, Public Mobile tried to stay positive. “The vast majority of the areas are in great shape and working well,” said Brian O’Shaughnessy, the chief technology officer for Public Mobile. “There’s a few spots where we have to keep building a few more sites to have the perfect coverage we expect to give to our customers.”

Some towers are still being constructed, too, and some of Public Mobile’s antennas will require adjustment.

There was always going to be considerable pressure on Public Mobile. As the first new wireless company to venture in to the Quebec market in several years, the expectations were high. Having launched in Toronto last month, the company has been determined but generally calculated in its approach to offering wireless services.

Its main focus has been on new users, so having services that are complete and up-and-running remains vital. For its part, Public Mobile has been relatively transparent about its services and its solutions to problems.

The refunds are a good start, for instance, and this approach could earn them loyalty over the long term. What’s really important, as they say in relationships, is not whether or not there were problems to begin with, but rather what’s to be done to fix them. This could be make-or-break time for Public Mobile in Quebec. Let’s hope they’re up to it.

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