8 January 2013

Nigeria: GSM Subscribers Seek Stiffer Penalty Against Operators

Telephone subscribers on Tuesday in Abuja called for stiffer penalties against GSM operators for providing poor quality of service in the country.

The subscribers made their feelings known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

A cross-section of the subscribers noted that the poor services rendered by the operators had worsened despite the recent ban on promo services by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Silas Daniel, a businessman, described the services of some of the service providers during the yuletide season as "terrible".

Daniel noted that some of the operators had inundated the subscribers with unsolicited text messages during the yuletide period at different rates

"They will bombard you with series of text messages and a lot of promos that sometimes get you confused.

"They will tell you there is a free call to this call at "so-so" time and you might bump into the wrong hours.

"You will think that you are making a free call but before you know it, your credit will go.

"NCC should be able to put up strict and stringent measures to be able to punish offenders because they are taking Nigerians for a ride; these things are not done elsewhere even in South Africa and other parts of the world.

These are not done, they are not acceptable.

Daniel said that the destruction of some of the GSM masts in some part of the country should not be used as an excuse for poor services.

He urged the operators to partner with local communities and private security outfits to ensure security of their installations nationwide.

Miss Rosemary Onyemenan, a youth corps member, called for a downward review of tariff and appealed to the industry regulator to prevail on the operators to expand their network to rural areas.

Mr Michael Vershima, a civil servant, complained about the frequent "error in call connection" from his service provider, adding such interruptions could have safety and security implications.

He also appealed to operators to stop charging for voice notifications made to subscribers during active calls.

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