Mr Ismail Adedigba, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has charged telecommunications operators to comply with the commission’s directives.
Adedigba gave the charge on Thursday during the 45th Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM) in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
He said the commission gave directives to the operators due to numerous complaints from telecommunications consumers.
According to him, the commission has been inundated with various complaints such as unsolicited text messages and calls.
Adedigba said the commission had equally received complaints on failure/refusal to roll over unused data at the expiration of data bundle by service providers.
He said there were complaints of automatic renewal of data services upon expiration and activation/subscription to data and Value Added Services (VAS) without prior consent of the subscribers.
He said there were also complaints of call masking and refiling.
The deputy director noted that the commission, as a consumer-centric institution, had taken appropriate steps in response to the above major complaints.
“The regulatory body has developed the 2442 Do Not Disturb (DND) Short Code to solve unsolicited text messages/calls.
“It has taken a step on the issuance of direction to service providers on data rollover, which now enables consumers to roll over unused data for a period of time, ranging from one day to seven days, depending on your data plan. This took effect from June 26, 2018.
“NCC has issued directives to service providers on forceful subscription of data services and Value Added Services (VAS), for them to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services, without prior consent of subscribers. This has taken effect from May 21, 2018.
“The commission also developed 622 Toll-Free Line through which you can easily lodge complaints for any unresolved service issue to the NCC,” he said.
Adedigba said that failure of the operators to comply with the above directives would attract appropriate penalties and sanctions.
In respect to call masking and refiling, he said the commission was working seriously to abate the ugly development, including deployment of appropriate technology as a strategy to combat it.
He said NCC believed the consumer is the “King” and as such, must be accorded the basic rights which include the right to be heard, to be educated, to choose, seek redress as well as right to safety.
The Chairman, Board of NCC, Sen. Olabiyi Durojaiye, said that the programme was to enable a tripartite meeting of the regulator, operators and consumers.
Represented by Mr Bashir Idris, Deputy Director/Head, Government and Public Relations Unit, NCC, Durojaiye said the meeting was aimed at enlightening telecommunications consumers and resolving pressing issues with respect to provision of services.
He said it would also serve as a feedback mechanism for the commission in making regulatory interventions for the benefit of the consumers, service providers, and the industry as a whole.