NCC raises stakes for consumers as telecoms complaints drops in Q1 2018

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By Chinedu James

Telecoms’ consumer complaints witnessed a decline in the first quarter of 2018 as against the recorded figure for the fourth quarter of 2017, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said in its recently released Nigerian Telecoms Consumer Complaints Report.

According to the report signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, the commission received a total of 13,880 complaints from subscribers in 2018, as against17,247 in Q4 2017, decreasing by 3,367.

The statistics shows that MTN which also topped the chart in Q4 2017, continued in that fashion in the recently released Q1 report. MTN had the highest number of complaints with 6,120 (44%), Airtel followed as second with 3,143 (23%), Globacom was third with 2,885 (21%), 9Mobile registered low with 1,705 (12%).

The decline according to NCC was as a result of the rise in the level of its consumer awareness campaign which was kicked off last year and tagged “Year of the Consumer”.

As part of the campaign, the commission introduced the activation of Do-Not-Disturb (DND) service which it said have been activated so far by about 9.3 million subscribers on their lines out of the 150 million active lines in the country. The DND offers subscribers the opportunity to manage and control unsolicited telemarketing messages at the activation of a 2442 short code on their lines.

However, billing related issues of  7,046 (51%) accounted for the highest number of complaints during the first quarter of 2018. The billing related complaints include deductions from activations of unsolicited Value Added Services (VAS) and telecom promotions and products, over deduction, charges for unsuccessful calls, charges for undelivered SMS, virtual top-up deducted but not received, charges for caller ring back tune not downloaded, etc.

VAS issues were pegged at 1,897 (14%); call set-up issues recorded 1,189 (9%); SMS issues registered 1,104 (8%); data services recorded 1,022 (7%); recharge cards issues accounted for 454 (3%); SIM issues recorded 429 (3%); unsuccessful DND requests recorded 298 (2%) and sales promotion claim issues accounted for 199 (1%).

The commission further stated that as part of its commitment to checkmate the excesses of telecom operators, it has continued to develop and deploy various channels for consumers to file their complaints and grievances against any service they consider inappropriate. The communication channels include the Toll free line 622, consumer web portal, social media handles and written complaints.


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