NCC investigating data depletion, wrongful deductions by mobile networks

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is investigating unreasonable depletion of mobile data and wrong deductions of customer credit by mobile network providers.

The investigation will seek “to get to the bottom of why consumers are experiencing data depletion and the possibility of compensating them for wrong deductions, which may arise from short message service (SMS).

“We have instituted and we have insisted that despite the fall in data price, that forensic audit must go on and must be concluded and the outcome communicated to the CEOs of telecom companies.”

Umar Danbatta,  executive vice-chairman of the NCC, who stated this on Thursday in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC director of public affairs, said the commission was committed to ensuring maximum protection for consumers as that was its key focus area.

Danbatta said the NCC had accomplished significant improvements through various initiatives aimed at putting mobile operators on their toes.

Danbatta said operators would be made to comply with whatever directions were given after the investigation, with a view to ensuring maximum protection for telecom consumers.

The statement said, “He, however, noted that the Commission has developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on data depletion, which are designed to inform consumers on activities that may result in faster depletion of their data as well as enlighten them on measures to mitigate such. The FAQs are accessible from the Commission’s website.

“Over the years, the NCC has given a boost to consumer protection empowerment through sustained awareness creation and education on consumer rights and privileges. It was for this reason that the Commission declared the year 2016 as the ‘Year of the Consumer’ with elaborate programmes to further underscore the NCC’s commitment to consumer protection, information and education.



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    “The Commission has intensified its compliance monitoring exercises with the acquisition of efficient tools and capacities to bring sanity in the industry all in a bid to improve the quality of consumer experience.

    “Among several initiatives, Danbatta said the introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) has helped over 30 million consumers to block unsolicited text messages on their phones while stern regulatory actions are constantly taken by the regulator against any operator that prevents a consumer from subscribing to the DND service.”

    The statement said the Commission launched the 622 Toll-free number, which consumers could use to lodge and escalate service-related complaints to the Commission for resolution, stating that thousands of complaints had been successfully resolved since its introduction.

    It restated the commitment of NCC to the protection and empowerment of telecom consumers using the over 208 million active telephone lines in the country,. It noted that consumers remained critical stakeholders in the Nigerian telecommunications sector and so must be adequately protected to ensure sustainability.

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