Georgian cell market swindles
25 November, 2010
Georgian cell market swindles

Geocell, one of the key cell market players of Georgia, is fined by GEL 90 thousand for violation of consumer rights.  The punished company agrees to pay the penalty although it finds the sanction unfair and plans to file a lawsuit against the cell market regulatory body.
Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC) fined Geocell on November 19, 2010 for breaking the regulation on Service Provision to Electronic Communication Sector and Protection of Consumer Rights. Starting 2007 the law in question obliges

all cell market operators to round off the cell call duration by a second precision. However, Geocell practiced the call round-off by a 5-second precision for Lai-Lai product consumers that violated their rights.
Magti GSM, another key cell market player of Georgia, discovered the illegal practice of its competitor and submitted a complaint on Geocell in this past August.   GNCC double-checked the information and proved the fact of violation of consumers’ rights. The regulatory body obliged Geocell on September 3, 2010 to stop violation of consumers’ rights and establish 1-second-based-round-off system so that consumers could pay exactly for the time they actually used.
As GNCC explained to Georgian Journal, if Lai-Lai subscriber talks for 11 seconds for instance, the call duration is rounded-off to 15 seconds and a subscriber pays for 15 seconds that leads to extra charging.
However, Geocell did not stop the unfair round-off system. And GNCC fined the disobedient company by GEL 90 thousand on November 19, 2010. If Geocell still resists stopping unfair charging, it may face GEL 250 thousand for repeated violation. 
As Sandro Sadaghashvili, Legal Expert of Geocell, informed GJ, they are going to obey and pay the fine but they feel innocent as far as they never hid that they used 5-second rounding system for Lai-Lai cell-calls. And that the law on protection of consumers’ rights lays ground to it.
“The fact that we were charging Lai-Lai cell-calls by 5-second precision was no secret; it was put on our official web-site in description of Lai-Lai tariff system starting 2007. The thing is that the law lays ground to double interpretation. It does not include clear stipulation that calls should be rounded by 1-second precision. It just says that the round-off must be implemented based on second-precision but does not elaborate by how many seconds. We obey to the GNCC punishment and will pay the penalty but do not rule out to file a complaint against this penalty decision at court,” Sadaghashvili elaborated.
According to Khatia Kurashvili, a spokesperson of GNCC, GNCC did not monitor the execution of demand on round-off system because they never supposed that companies could divert the rule that was quite clearly stipulating that the round-off should be based on one-second precision.
Sadaghashvili assures that the detailed information on round-off system was put in annual financial reports of Geocell submitted at GNCC each year and the regulatory body could easily discover it. “However GNCC discovered this fact only after Magti submitted a claim this past August,” he said.
Magti also got a warning in September along with Geocell for violation consumers’ rights. Starting August of 23, 2010 Magti introduced a new allegedly preferential tariff-system largely advertized as a “staggering sale in cell tariffs”. In its TV ad-rolls Magti has been touting that its new  tariff on calls within Magti network was 5 tetri per minute and the tariff fixed for outgoing calls [with other cell operators] stood at 18 tetri per minute. The older tariff was 28.8 tetri per minute on all calls. However after accurate calculation GNCC came to conclusion that call tariffs rather increased than decreased to Magti subscribers thanks to sophisticated scheme charging subscribers by 10 tetri instantly as the call started. Magti charged calls by the “staggeringly low” tariffs only after a second however the ad-rolls did not include a word on this instant charge by 10 tetri. As a result Magti subscribers thought that they were paying 4.8 tetri per 1- second call for instance, while in fact they were paying 10.83 tetri as GNCC calculated.  
“All in all the “great sale on cell calls” advertised by Magti covers 51.6% of calls implemented within its network and 19.05% of outgoing calls,” Kurashvili explains. “And after introduction new tariff system calls to Magti subscribers became more expensive to 48.4% of calls through internal network and to 80.95% of outgoing calls.”
Geocell and Magti having been operating at Georgian market for about 13 years make 43% and -46% of Georgian cell market respectively. The remainder 11% is made by Beeline, a part of the Russian-based VimpelCom Group, which entered Georgian market in 2005. Based on this statistics it comes out that rights of about 90% of Georgian cell subscribers were violated.  Therefore on September 3, 2010 [when GNCC warned Geocell to stop unfair round-off] GNCC obliged Magti to stop advertising of “great sale” and provide consumers’ with due information otherwise it faced a penalty of GEL 90 thousand.  However Magti obeyed the GNCC decision thus escaped the fine the Geocell faces to pay now.

Print
Other Stories
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com Head Speaker List featuring Circle, DEX.top and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
GAZELLE FINANCE GEORGIA AND TBC BANK HELP THE WESTERN REGIONAL CENTER OF MODERN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN KUTAISI, GEORGIA
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equivalent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
16.11.2018
17.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6818
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0299
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4332
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0185
4.0447
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30