By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revised the framework for resolving consumer complaints on service delivery by telecom operators, saying internet-related complaints must be resolved within 72 hours or erring operators face sanctions.
This is coming on the heels of senate confirmation of the executive Vice Chairman, EVC of the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta for a second term in office.
Although revision of the service level agreements was done in November 2019, Danbatta who appears smoking with action after the confirmation is bringing it into full force. He said the era of treating operators with kid gloves on issues of customer complaints were over, and warned that telecom operators who do not take their customer services seriously, especially on data issues, would be hit with the regulator’s correctional hammer.
The commission said the action will ensure effectiveness in the sector and as well strengthens protection of telecom consumers.
According to Danbatta: “In the reviewed CC/SLA, with respect to the broad category of Quality of Service and Quality of Experience (QoS and QoE) in the data segment, when a telecom subscriber experiences fluctuation in service, such as instability in the Internet services, the subscriber shall be contacted by the service provider within four hours of reporting the incident and the disruption shall be restored within 72 hours.
”If the matter is escalated to the Commission, the consumer is expected to receive feedback within two hours, while the Commission ensures the issue is resolved within 48 hours. Additionally, the subscriber shall be offered an apology and the expiry date of his data bundle shall be extended by the number of days the disruption lasted” he noted.
He added that under the broad category, ‘Billing’, complaints connected to any unexplained change in account balance resulting in a drop in balance, due to overcharging subscriber’s account for calls, Short Messaging Services (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), shall be resolved by the operator within 24 hours.
Again, should there be a need by the subscriber to escalate the complaint to NCC, the Commission shall ensure the matter is resolved within 12 hours, while the subscriber shall be notified of resolution and where applicable, compensated with five percent of overcharged amount which is payable daily to the consumer for every 24 hours of default.
He noted that the 2019 review of the CC/SLA, was in collaboration with operators and other stakeholders. He argued that it was essentially to strengthen effective and prompt resolutions of consumers’ complaints.