NCC to sanction erring telecom operators over unsolicited calls, messages

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its willingness to sanction operators found guilty short changing telecommunications subscribers.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 4th quarterly open forum of the Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF), tagged, “Telecoms Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress Mechanism”, NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau/Designates, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano, said if service providers use more Interswitch Voice Response (IVR) instead of life agent as directed and are adamant to shift base, the Commission would be ready to sanction them now.

“If we have evidence against them, the Commission won’t think twice before sanctioning such an operator. We are monitoring them on daily basis and it is a big issue for us when a subscriber says that no life agent is responding. We will take action immediately because both the NCC and operators have agreed terms on the number of times a call must go through before being answered by IVR.”

He also disclosed that most operators do not meet the agreed quality of service threshold and the challenge of the Commission, stems from consumers’ nonchalant attitude towards reporting their service providers.

“From recently released statistics, only 18,000 complaints were received in three months from subscribers. Maybe they are skeptical and have resigned to fate; that’s why they are not saying anything,” he said. He explained that unsolicited messages occur in Europe and that it cannot be totally eradicated, but agreed that it can be curbed before it becomes a frustrating menace to consumers.

“Awareness is the most important thing and that is why subscribers should reach the Commission on 622 toll free and text stop to 2442 to avoid unsolicited messages,” he said, adding that the essence of the forum was to help the growth of the telecoms sector.

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