SMCC – The new normal: why handling of requests take much longer than before? | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Sint Maarten Consumers Coalition (SMCC) stated in a statement that with the COVID 19 pandemic a lot of entities are promoting online handling of requests for services. “We hear entities explaining that workers are now working from home. That only a few workers are working in the office. What we find irritating, is that consumers are told to be patient, because of this new situation.

“Where information technology has facilitated and speeded up online handling of correspondence, financial transactions, etc., this argument of consumers to be patient is unacceptable.

“Especially those persons with no online facilities to communicate and to file for assistance are being discriminated.

“Recommendations of the entities for persons to make use of emails or contact info from others, we find incorrect. It is a breach of the privacy, that they should guarantee to each client of the entities!

“Furthermore, we see that applicants do not get any copy to proof that they have submitted their application. Arguments as “we have it in our computers”, do not make sense, because many consumers complaint that they have submitted requests and complaints and when they show up in person to find out what is the status of their request and complaint, it is only to find out that the front office clerk cannot find your request, your application or complaint!

“So with all due respect for all the preliminary hick ups in this new service offered by the entities, as Consumers Coalition we cannot accept, that the new norm of providing online services is not more effective, and less time consuming!

Do not ask consumers to be patient! On the contrary, welcome their complaint as an incentive, to improve your processing speed and to improve your online services!

               We recommend the following practical tips to all consumers of online services:

  • Keep all the original documents of your request, application, complaint together.
  • If you have to fill out an online application make a print screen of each page that you have filled out before going to the next screen
  • Make a copy of those documents and attach or upload them, when you file an official complaint, and send a cc. to the St Maarten Consumers Coalition via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    “If your official complaint is not been handled satisfactory you can contact the Consumers Coalition and we will address your right to redress jointly,” the SMCC concludes.

    Source: Souliga Newsday