NCC to fine telcos for illegal data renewal

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all service providers in the country to desist from carrying out automatic or unwarranted renewal of data packages without the consent of the subscribers or risk N5million penalty.

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, who stated this at the first episode of NCC Consumer Conversation 2018, held in Karu, Nasarawa State, said that the warning became imperative in view of the mounting complaints from the subscribers against the service providers for breaching the extant rules.

The NCC, had on 21 May, 2018 issued a directive to all network providers to desist from imposing any value added services (VAT) on the subscribers without their express permission.

Danbatta, represented at the occasion by Mrs. Helen Obi, director of Northern operations, explained that the complaints received by the Commission had risen to an unacceptable level that the Commission could no longer delay in issuing the directive against operators engaging in the unlawful act.

Besides the N5million fine that awaits the violation of the law, he further explained that for everyday that the commission issues the sanction and the fine was not paid by the service provider, it will attract additional N500, 000.

‘‘The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on the 21 May, 2018 issued a directive to all network providers to desist from carrying out automatic or unwarranted renewal of data packages without their consent. We have also directed that no mobile service providers should impose their services to consumers. ‘It is expected that they should obtain their consent.

‘‘There should be a written text by the network provider to the consumer requesting to know whether the consumer is interested in renewing the package, after that, the network provider must also repeat the process to ensure that the consumer understood the terms and conditions of the service and has given consent before automatic renewal.

‘In a situation where the commission receives complaints from the consumer that he or she was short-changed, the Commission will take it up on behalf of the consumer because that will be a violation of directive.

‘‘The penalty for the violation will attract a N5 million for any service provider who defaults. And for everyday that the commission issues the sanction and the fine was not paid by the service provider, it will attract and additional N500, 000’. – Nigeria Comms Week.

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