The Nigerian Communications Commission has issued an ultimatum to telecommunications operators to articulate their compensation plan before the end of January 2015.
Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau at the regulatory agency, Mrs. Maryam Bayi, disclosed this at the Fourth Quarter Industry Consumer Advisory Forum in Abuja on Wednesday.
The compensation pact will stipulate the compensation that a customer is entitled to whenever there is a breach of service that is rendered to them by an operator.
Bayi also disclosed that the regulatory agency receives about 40,000 complaints each day from consumers across the country on various breaches perpetuated by network operators.
She said, “We have given them an ultimatum that by January, they should let us know what kind of compensation plan they have come up with so that we can publish and tell consumers what they can be compensated for. We will tell them that if they are not compensated, they should report to us.
“If for any reason they deplete your credit balance; they should be able to replace it and even with something extra because they must have disrupted your business. If you show them how negatively they have affected your business, they should be able to provide compensation for that.
“If for instance you subscribe to data service and you had not been able to utilise the service, they should be able to give it back to you or allow you to roll over. Now they auto renew their subscribers and roll over their data plans.”
She added, “The number of complaints has come down to about 40,000 from all over the federation per day. Before the complaints were well above 40,000 per day. In our action plan for 2015, we want to go out and push consumers to lodge complaints when they have issues.
“We have really put them (operators) on their toes recently. It is really better today than it was about six months ago when it was difficult to make calls. We have tried to address some of these issues along with them.
“The committee on compensation is working. We had to bring the operators. Initially, it was just an internal committee. ICAF also has a committee that is looking into the compensation. They have invited service providers to explain their compensation plan.”
She added that NCC had held sessions with the operators on the centrality of the consumer in their operations as they could not operate without the resources being expended by subscribers.
Speaking to journalists at the event, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, Dr. Okechukwu Itanyi, said NCC was working with operators to address infrastructure challenges that result in poor quality of service.
He added that there were enormous challenges in obtaining right of way, erecting base stations, power, vandalism, and robbery of generators and equipment. Punch