The Nigerian Communications Commission has said it will not tolerate telecoms service providers that treat consumers with levity.
The commission said consumers remained kings as far as the business of telecommunication was concerned, and that it was primarily established to ensure that consumers received value for their money.
Mr Ismail Adedigba, head, Information and Reference Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC stated this while speaking at the 96th edition of NCC Consumer Outreach Programme, with the theme: “Using Information and Education as Tools for Consumer Empowerment and Protection”.
He said the meeting was to ascertain major complaints from mobile telecom users, against service providers, so as to properly educate them on how to seek redress, while also speaking to the service providers on the dangers of not complying with consumers’ requests.
Adedigba who was addressing issues relating to receipt of unsolicited text messages by consumers said the NCC has dedicated numbers which if activated can stop all unwanted text messages to consumers, and that the service providers were obligated to honour such requests without delay.
He said the tripartite meeting involving mobile telecoms service providers, consumers and the commission was aimed at ensuring that the kingship of the consumers was stressed.
Adedigba explained that service providers existed solely because of the consumers,therefore, the consumers should be accorded rights to information, education, fair hearing, choice and safety.
“We are here to provide complaints desks so that consumers can resolve issues with their service providers such as unsolicited SMS, automated renewal of data, without prior knowledge of the user and rollover of unfinished data.
“These complaints can be regulated by NCC when consumers call the 622 toll-free line or text `STOP’ to 2442 (the Do-Not-Disturb ‘DND’ short code for unsolicited SMS),” Adedigba said.
Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam who was represented by the Head, Public Relations (NCC), Reuben Muoka, urged mobile telecom users to utilise toll-free lines and Customer Care Centres of NCC to relay complaints taken to service providers but yet-to-be resolved.
Onwuegbuchulam said that consumers were target beneficiaries and should be protected from untoward issues from providers.
“They have to be protected from wrong choices and exploitations and informed of their rights.
“These rights include being properly informed and educated, right to take decisions, correct information with understandable language that is relevant, current and timely,’’ she said.
Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Broadcast Media, Mrs Ifunanya Abass, commended NCC for organising a forum for telecom consumers, saying; ‘information is key’.
Adinuba promised synergy with NCC through the provision of media platforms in Anambra to readily inform users on how to demand for services.
“Mobile users are not properly educated on how to relate with service providers. With this kind of forum, they can take charge,’’ he said.