Data: NCC leverages on mandate to uphold consumer satisfaction

November 12th, 2019

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set out plans to reduce data price and has reaffirmed commitment to uphold consumer satisfaction as well as sanction telecommunications service providers if they fail to attend to complaints lodged by customers within 24 hours, writes ANGELA NKWOCHA.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to implement the Federal Government’s directive on the challenges of illegal data deductions and to review the cost of data downward in the country.

Speaking after swearing-in of Mr. Adeleke Adewolu as the Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management, NCC, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Isa Pantami, had listed issues requiring the attention of the Commission which includes the need to address complaints about data pricing and rate of depletion.

A statement from the Spokesperson to the Minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, averred that NCC has swung into action and is unwavering to deliver on its mandate which centres on consumer satisfaction as according to her this was conveyed in a letter the commission sent to the Minister sequel to the five day ultimatum issued to the commission by the minister on illegal data deductions.

“The NCC explained in the letter, that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services. It listed the penalties as including considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.

“The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act”.

Suleiman acknowledged that NCC also notified Pantami of its regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorised subscription. The commission assured the minister that it has been working assiduously round the clock to enforce the Federal government directive which expires on Nov. 8, to enable it properly red strategize.

“It appealed for an extension of the deadline to fully implement long term solutions as directed, to the challenges”. Suleiman stated that the minister has graciously granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve the issues within the shortest time possible.

Recall that the Minister had commended NCC for its effectiveness in addressing the issue of pre-registered/improperly-registered SIM cards, and for facilitating broadband penetration in the country.

Pantami acknowledged that in 2018, the Commission succeeded in achieving and surpassing the national broadband target of 30 percent and has continued to deepen the broadband penetration which is now at 35 percent.

Speaking at a meeting with telecommunications service providers in Abuja recently, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner Stakeholders management of the NCC, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, while unveiling Categories and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) report had asked all service providers and stakeholders to treat the complaints of customers “with the seriousness it deserves”.

He explained that the report is a review of complaint categories and the service level agreement which the consumer affairs of the NCC put together in collaboration with service providers.

“If a particular incident happens in the service provision and the customer feels dissatisfied with the service he received, if he complains and does not receive a response from the providers within 24 hours then they will be punished,” the commissioner said. He said the report would guide the providers in the delivery of services and help resolving complaints by customers.

From all indications the telecom regulatory body is not leaving any stone unturned towards addressing illegal deduction of data by service providers. It is working out modalities on what customers should do when their data gets depleted abnormally, thus upholding its mantra which acknowledges consumers as kings in the telecom industry.

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