Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has supported the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to sanction telecoms operators over non compliance to the directive on unsolicited telemarketing.
The CPC Director-General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, who applauded NCC spoke in Lagos on Thursday at the 4th Quarter Meeting/Open Forum of the Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF), said that unsolicited messages and forced subscriptions had over time been the hallmark of the Nigerian telecommunications service.
Atoki, represented by Mr Joshua Ngada, the Head, Lagos Office of CPC at the forum with the theme, “Do-Not-Disturb (DND): Panacea to Unsolicited Messages” said, “CPC supports the imposition of punitive fines by NCC on Mobile Network Operators, (MNOs) that violate the commission’s directive on the DND service.
“The council’s position is that the enforcement of the DND service should be stepped up by NCC to ensure that the MNOs comply fully with the directive in the interest of consumers,’’ she said.
According to her, some even forcibly subscribed consumers to different services and deducted various sums of money without the consent of the affected consumers.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of ICT Derivatives Ltd, Mr. Ayoola Oke confirmed that NCC receives 4,304 complaints on unsolicited telemarketing in nine months.
He said the complaints were received from telecommunications consumers through ‘Walk-in, Outreach Events, Letters, Emails, Consumer Web Portal (CWP) and the Call Centre (622).
According to him, in the first quarter of 2016, the regulatory body received a total of 2,325 complaints on unwanted and disturbing telemarketing.
He said that of the 2,325 complaints, 13 were through walk-in to NCC’s centre, outreach events and letters from telecommunications subscribers, 28 were through emails and CWP, while 2,284 were received through 622 toll free calls to NCC’s call centre.
Oke said that in 2nd quarter, 629 unsolicited text and calls complaints were received, which included 12 walk-in, outreach events and letters to the regulatory body.
They also included 54 complaints through emails and CWP, as well as 563 complaints received through calls.
He said that in the third quarter, a total of 1,350 complaints on issues of unsolicited telemarketing were received. “Sixteen were through walk-in to the commission’s centre, outreach events and letters, 62 complaints were through emails and CWP, while 1,272 were through calling 622 to the call centre.
“In summary, 41 complaints were through walk-in, outreach events and letters, 144 were through emails and CWP, then 4,119 unsolicited telemarketing complaints were through calling 622, which is the code for the NCC call centre,” Oke said.
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