Telecommunications subscribers in the South Eastern part of Nigeria are currently aggrieved with operations of the service providers, especially the quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9Mobile.
Nnamdi Ugochukwu, a Globacom subscriber, complained that he had been experiencing drop calls and undelivered SMS in the last one month. He wondered if the NCC still monitors operations of the operators.According to him drop calls; uncompleted calls; illegal credit deductions, and the menace of unsolicited Short Message Service (SMS) have become the order of the day with the networks.
Another subscriber, Mary Onyema, a business woman, and ‘MTN loyal customer’ also complained of drop calls and connection failures, decrying that her clients now find it extremely difficult to reach her for business transactions. The State’s Science & Technology Commissioner, Fabian Nwankwo, queried the operators for building masts indiscriminately and disregarding the health implications to the people, evade taxes, and ignore subscribers’ protests, among others.
Subscribers also protested unreliable and poor Internet services, insisting that they should be made by the statutory authority to give due service for what they pay, and impose due penalties against any erring operator.
The subscribers specifically faulted the NCC for seemingly not imposing statutory penalties on, and collecting same from the operators to serve as a deterrent. Representatives of the GSM Operators namely, MTN, GLO, 9Mobile, and Airtel, were in attendance, and took turns to assure the aggrieved subscribers of their sustained determination to keep improving their services to meet their demands.
Addressing the gathering at the forum, the NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Abdullahi Maikano, said the forum was one of the initiatives to bring telecom consumers, network operators, and the Commission as the regulator, to discuss, proffer solutions to consumer related issues, and ensure they have value for money through effective service delivery.
NCC Deputy, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Ismail Adedigba, who presided over the forum, alongside the Director, Technical Standards, Fidelis Onah, urged the subscribers to use the numerous channels provided by the NCC to reach it as the need arises. Onah advised customers to use NCC Toll Free line 622 to lodge complaints to the Commission, and 2442 Short Code to stop unsolicited messages.
He assured the state that NCC ensures that detailed studies are done and accordingly approved before masts are erected, but that the issue of tax defaulting should be addressed by the appropriate governments.