NCC goes tough on telecom consumer right protection

NCC Boss, Umar Garba Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has toughened its fight against the abuse of customer’s rights and privileges by telecommunication companies.

As such, the NCC has read a riot act to the operators, stressing that the customer remains King.The NCC declared this during its day at the just concluded Lagos International Trade Fair and Exhibition.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by the Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis, Josephine Amuwa, noted that the consumers of telecommunications services deserved to get value for their money and be treated as very important stakeholders in the scheme of things as far as service delivery is concerned.

Danbatta maintained that his administration is fighting to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services.

“Our objective is to engage, empower, educate and inform the consumers about their rights and responsibilities, opportunities and solutions that are available in the industry. The essence of this is to reassure the consumers that the issue of protecting them from unfair practices is no mere talk.

“We have put the service providers on special notice about our current monitoring of user experience on issues of poor reception, wrong billings and deductions, automatic roll over among other issues and if they fail to improve services to the detriment of the consumers, will face appropriate regulatory actions and sanctions,” he stated.

He reiterated that the commission will soon issue a direction to the service providers to give a 14 day window to the subscribers to enable them roll over their unused data, even if they do not renew on the date of expiration of the current subscription.

Danbatta urged telecoms consumers to take advantage of the toll free complaints platform (622) to lodge complaints to NCC about unsatisfactory services of the telecom service providers and the Do-Not-Disturb code (2442) to stop unsolicited text messages just by sending “STOP” or “HELP” to the code.

The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), Abdullahi Maikano, represented by the Head, Internal Audit Department, NCC, Onwuegbuchulam Felicia, in his remarks, noted that the telecom consumers are the target beneficiaries of all NCC’s activities.

Maikano maintained that the consumers enjoy primary focus in terms of ensuring that they get good quality services, value for money spent, timely and fair redress of complaints and protection from unwholesome practices of some service providers.

He thanked the LCCI for providing a unique interactive platform for the NCC to reach out to the teeming telecom consumers and other stakeholders of the industry.

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