I have had an ongoing nagging problem with the virtual monopoly which ICC maintains over the media in the Virgin Islands.
Innovative locally owns The Daily News, the Island Trader, Cable TV and a hefty portion of direct access high-speed Internet, but the service in all areas has deteriorated significantly since their takeover.
With all due respect to the people I still know at The Daily News, the newspaper has faded in my estimation. Gone are the zinging news reports by such as Hal Hatfield and others who sneaked in barbed comments with great glee; almost gone are the likewise barbed editorials which made one chuckle and grimace and think.
Most of the news items these days are written by newcomer reporters, obviously lured by the prospect of working for a "Pulitzer prize-winning newspaper" in a tropical paradise, who have no idea of even the most recent history of the islands and have, many times, made big gaffes and snafus when relating history. The Avis is making good ground with excellent editorials and good reporting.
It used to be fun to walk into The Daily News Main Office. There was always someone cheery at the desk to bid you a "good day" and, if you knew where you were going, you could just go on right through and get greetings from everyone en route. Now it¹s like a bloody morgue and one feels like an interloper walking through that front door. The gloom of doom incarnate.
And let's address Innovative's Cable TV service. They recently ran full-page ads urging updates of converters. Not once in any of these ads and also not on their Cable 33 channel were customers told that they had to unhook their old converter and bring it in to the new Innovative office. A bunch of people went down to the office to get the new converters but those who didn't unhook and bring in their old converters were told they had to come back another day – after waiting for hours.
Hours? Customers sometimes wait in line for up to four hours. It seems that only four customer representatives are on hand at any time to deal with telephone bills, telephone problems, telephone installations, cable TV installations and enquiries.
Judging from newcomer comments, you might be lucky to get real land-line telephone service within a couple of months. AH! But Innovative offers cell phone service which is more profitable (not for you, but for Innovative!)
S&P rates ICC as a bad credit risk. Doesn't that tell someone something?
The people of the V.I. have (finally) started to make their voices heard via the electoral vote but there is still much to be done. A whole lot has still to be done, with education as a priority. If we continue to neglect the children, we once again raise another generation which is not going to be knowledgeable or self-sufficient and ends up rebelling against the system by turning to crime and drugs – and death.
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