Consumer Protection: NCC threatens to sanction erring telecom service providers

The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), on Thursday, said it would sanction service providers who fail to abide by the regulations of the commission in dealing with their consumers.

This is coming as the commission reaffirmed its commitment in protecting telecom consumers from unwholesome practices from their network providers.

The NCC’s Director of Consumers Affairs Bureau, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, gave the warning at the 44th edition of the NCC Consumers Town Hall Meeting with telecom consumers and service providers held in Oguta, Imo.

Speaking on the theme; “Using Information and Education as Tools for Consumers Empowerment and Protection,” Onwuegbuchulam said service providers must ensure that consumers get quality service, value for money spent and timely redress of complaints.

She also urged network providers to shun unwholesome practices, reiterating that erring companies must be sanctioned.

“You must engage your consumers on constant empowerment through education to fortify them in making good choices,’’ the NCC official stressed.

She said the meeting was targeted at bringing together telecom consumers in the rural areas with the network operators to proffer solutions to their problems.

According to her, it was also designed to ensure that consumers have value for their money.

The NCC director listed some of the unwholesome practices by service providers as unsolicited text massages and calls, failure to roll over unused data and automatic renewal of data, and VAS without consent of the subscriber.

She, however, said NCC had taken adequate measures to checkmate erring telecom operators by developing DND Short Code to solve unsolicited text massages controversy.

Onwuegbuchulam said that the commission had developed a service Toll free line for consumers to lay down their complaints.

In her remark, the representative of GLO Mobile, Chinwe Ejiofor, assured GLO consumers of quality services, adding that the company had been interfacing with its customers.

Some participants at the programme and telecom consumers said NCC should roll out more programmes to protect telecom consumers against unnecessary extortion.

Mr Ken Emelumber, one of them, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that multiple taxation, unsolicited text massages and auto renewal programmes of the telecom companies were the major problems with the consumers.

He thanked NCC for the meeting but urged them to always monitor the excesses of service providers. (NAN)

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