10m consumers complain of unsolicited calls, messages
The Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday said that GSM consumers continue to get unsolicited calls and messages from operators because of the failure of many consumers to lodge their complaints.
The commission added that out of the 161 million telecoms consumers only 10 million people lodge their complaints at NCC’s complaints centre.
Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management), NCC Sunday Dare said this in Ogbomosho, Oyo state at the 10th edition of Consumer Outreach Programme (COP).
He added that: “NCC has created too many spaces. There is a gap between NCC providing the information for the consumers and the consumers actually using that information. For example we gave a number 2442 out for consumers to complaints about unsolicited calls and messages. When we started we had 900,000 people after one year we had 10 million people. We have 161 million consumers only 10 million have activated and others are complaining. Why? Because they have the information but not activating it, we have our complaints centre for 24 hours. It is left for the consumers to get the information to empower themselves.
“The NCC does not have the policy of name and same. What is important is the resolution of the complaints. I can tell you from our complaints centre we receive close to 8,000 complaints. The resolution rate is over 90 percent. And I think that is what is important. That means rather than wait to be fined they operators work closely to resolve these complaints.”
Mr. Dare added that “the level of compliance of the network providers to our regulation has been about 80 percent. They also know that there is a cost for none compliance. We fine them millions of Naira on a monthly and quarterly basis. We don’t put it out in the media but they feel the pain. They pay this money for default. Every single consumer is important to NCC. If you are a consumer and you reach us on 622 for your complaints the NCC will defend you and you will be compensated.”
Earlier, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the commission, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam revealed that NCC is working assiduously to reduce the menace of call masking/refilling.
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She added that the strategies being used to abate that include deployment of appropriate technology and working on the issuance of direction to MNOs to explore technical means not to allow their networks to be used for call masking and SIM boxing activities.
Others according to Mrs. Onwuegbuchulam are creating awareness on call asking through different social platforms; embarking on continuous compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities to detect victims of call masking.
She said “also the commission is in the process of choosing the best from a list of technology solutions used in other countries, to block the devices, track and apprehend the culprits.
“Tightening of subscriber identity module (SIM) registration processes across all networks to reduce the availability of SIMs for SIM boxing as well as address the security issues around the availability of pre-registered or fraudulently-registered SIMs.”
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