Customers served by SK Telecom in Seoul and some of Korea’s provincial areas experienced over 6-hours service outage on Thursday making it difficult for subscribers to make calls, text or use data services. On Friday, at the company’s shareholder meeting the CEO promised to compensate each of the 5.6 million subscribers with 10 times the phone charges. SK Telecom’s customer clauses obligate the operator to compensate their subscribers at 6 times the phone charges if the duration of a network glitch lasts for over 3 hours in one day or over 6 hours in a month.
SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-min (second from right) and company executives bow during a public apology for the mobile operator’s service failure at its headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
“I apologize to shareholders and customers for yesterday’s incident. We will compensate for the damages with more money than stated in the customer clauses,” CEO Ha Sung-Min said after a shareholders’ meeting.
The service outage comes only a week after the operator had technical problems with its LTE and 3G network equipment causing internet disconnection for its customers. SK Telecom blames its most recent glitch on faulty home location registration systems which affected the network’s ability to find callers’ base stations.
“The government will keep an eye on whether SK Telecom takes appropriate compensation measures,” said Ko Chang-hyu, an official at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning’s telecommunications infrastructure policy division.
The telecom is now facing a class action suite from an association of taxi drivers whose payment system relies on SK Telecom’s infrastructure. As it turns out the drivers couldn’t process payments on Thursday as a result of the massive network outage.