14 September 2017

Nigeria: Subscribers Accuse Telecoms Operators of Over-Billing, Others

Billing-related issues have topped the various complaints put up by subscribers against telecommunications service providers in the second quarter of the year in Nigeria.

Although the complaints dropped in Q2 compared to Q1, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was still inundated with over 15,000 complaints with billing-related issues accounting for 58 per cent. In Q1, the NCC contended with 19,730 various complaints from telephone users in the country.

The billing related issues include deductions for activation of unauthorised Value Added Services (VAS), inaccurate charges, charges for unauthorised services, charges for unsuccessful calls, charges for undelivered Short Message Service (SMS), inability to change tariff plan, deductions for virtual top-ups not received, charges for caller ring back tune not downloaded, among others.

Complaints with respect to SMS/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and VAS accounted for the second and third highest number of complaints received by the commission, which are eight per cent and seven per cent respectively in Q2.

These statistics are contained in the telecoms consumer complaints report released yesterday by the NCC where SIM card issues had three per cent, inability to reach call centres had one per cent, recharge card issues had three per cent and data centre issues had six per cent. Call set-up challenges saw five per cent complaints and failed/unsuccessful DND request accounted for six per cent.

Besides, the NCC in the document signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, noted that a comparison of complaints received in Q1 and Q2, 2017 showed a reduction in the number of complaints received by 22.06 per cent.

The commission said reduction in the number of complaints could be attributed to the decline in billing-related complaints by consumers from 11,348 in Q1 to 8,838 in Q2.

Meanwhile, President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, has called for compensation for subscribers.

Ogunbanjo urged the regulator to come up with policy statement that would ensure that every quarter, subscribers are compensated.

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