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Smart Cell recharge card traders lock the telco’s office, investment at risk

A displeased group of Smart Cell recharge card “victims” took to protest and locked the office of Smart Cell. The group resorted to the action as they risk losing their money on balance cards as the telco’s fate remains at stake following the automatic revocation of its license. The group locked the gate of the operator’s office in Kumaripati, Lalitpur.

The “protesters” said that millions of their money is at risk of going to waste. They claim that Smart forced them to buy recharge cards worth lakhs when the telco was losing its operating permit. The company is accused of luring them into buying recharge cards faking potential profits when it’s about to lose its license.

Smart Cell lost its unified license on Baisakh 03 after failing to pay off its Rs 30 billion (in total) payable to Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). After the Patan High Court upheld NTA’s decision, the authority took over the telco.

Smart Cell Recharge Card Protest

A victim said, “Smart Cell tells us that the authority has taken control of the company and asks us to talk to them”. But the authority tells us that it is a professional partnership between Smart and you. He said that the authority has asked them to take their issue with Smart. So, under these circumstances, recharge cards’ future remains unclear.  

The victims have likewise demanded that the Smart Cell recharge issue is looked upon in earnest. “The matter must be looked at seriously. Otherwise, 500 wholesalers and 15,000 shops will lose their recharge cards and the money in the SIM,” one complained.   

‘This matter should be looked at seriously. Otherwise, we will lose all the recharge cards and SIM money in about 500 wholesalers and 15,000 shops across the country,” he added.

Also read: Telecom Operators in Nepal

The protestors said that the traders have Smart Card recharge cards worth half a billion. Whoever runs the company, they would rather demand the money they invested with.

There are plans for sit-in protests if the company doesn’t pay heed to their concerns.

NTA has taken control of Smart enforcing its property management regulation. However, it has failed to coordinate the concerns of SIM and recharge card traders on time. This could lead to more complications as the regulator takes over the telco and prepares for the auction of its resources.

Do you carry a Smart Cell SIM card? What are your concerns at the moment? Do share in the comments below.

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