How we improved consumers protection - NCC
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, has highlighted ways it helped protect Nigerian consumers in the last four years.
NCC in a statement by its Head of Public Affairs, (Online Media and Special Publications) Kunle Azzeez said the commission in the last four years intensified efforts at protecting and empowering consumers of telecom services by developing new and sustaining initiatives.
One of the initiatives in 2017 include “the mobile number portability (MNP) service which enabled consumers with a wider choice to migrate from one network to another without changing their original line. This has also helped consumers from indiscriminately purchasing Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards,” the NCC said.
The commission said it also exposed consumers to monitoring and canceling unsolicited text messages through the resultant activation of the DND facility by the subscribers.
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The statement read in part: “The DND facility significantly helped the consumers to control unsolicited text messages. ‘As of October 2019, a total of 22,356, 919 subscribers have activated the DND service either fully or partially”.
“As of October 2019, a total of 22,356, 919 subscribers have activated the DND service either fully or partially”.
“This underscores the importance the Commission places on consumer a critical stakeholder in the telecoms value chain. Suffice it to say that in the last four years, the Commission has sustained periodic consumer engagement, on a continuous basis, through its various outreaches such as the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP), the Consumer Outreach Programme (COP), the Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM), the Elite Forum as well as its Consumer Conversation forum, among
“The NCC has demonstrated unflinching commitment to consumers in terms of consumer complaints resolution. For instance, through the creation of the Toll-Free Number, 622, as a second-level mechanism for consumer complaints resolution, telecoms consumers have found it easier to escalate any service-related complaints they might have to the Commission for prompt resolution.
“As stated by NCC report, between January 2017 and December 2018, for instance, the Commission received a total of 118,784 complaints from consumers, of which a total of 92,757, representing 78 percent of total complaints received during the two years period, were successfully resolved to the satisfaction of telecom consumers.
“A similar report by the Commission showed that between January 2019 and October 2019 alone, a total of 19,841 complaints were received from telecoms consumers across its various consumer complaints channels. Of these, the NCC successfully resolved a total of 17,851, representing a 90 percent success rate of consumer complaints resolution during the period. It is noteworthy that a total of 18, 717 complaints were lodged to the Commission through the NCC Contact Centre.
“Also, the commission issued a number of regulatory Directions to operators. They include the direction on data roll-over, which enables consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from one day to seven days, depending on their data plan; and the direction on forceful subscription of data services and VAS, which directs service providers to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services without prior consent of subscribers. All these have continued to positively impact on the consumer’s quality of experience (QoE).
Press reports that “The Commission, in 2019, stepped up operators’ compliance with service level agreement with respect to consumer complaints management. In 2019, for instance, the NCC revised its Consumer Complaints & Service Level Agreement (CC/SLA) for the purpose of improving consumer complaint management and resolution by the service providers in a much prompter manner. More importantly, the focus of the NCC’s Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF)’s Open Forum held in the fourth quarter of 2019 was how to further protect consumers with respect to financial frauds committed by criminals using telecoms platforms.”
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