…Poor billing, voice, data quality top complaints
…NCC resolves 99.2% of consumer complaints
By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor & Juliet Umeh
At the end of first quarter, 2021, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has revealed that more telecommunications subscribers were unhappy with their service providers in the quarter, compared to same period last year.
This is as a total of 3,019 consumer complaints were received from four complaint channels established by the NCC as compared to 2,854 complaints received in the Q1, 2020.
The three topmost complaints were majorly issues related to billings, quality of service and experience for voice and data.
However, the Bureau confessed that the Commission resolved 99.2 percent of the service-related complaints received from consumers across the major network operators in Q1, 2021.
Q1, 2021 Report on Complaint Management issued by the Bureau said the complaints were received from four complaint channels established by the Commission. They are the Commission’s Contact Centre, through which the toll-free number 622 is managed, NCC Consumer Portal, NCC social media platforms and written complaints.
Of the 3,019 consumer complaints, 2,995 consumer complaints, representing 99.2 percent, were successfully resolved while only 24, representing 0.8 percent, which were escalated to service providers, are pending resolution from the respective service providers in line with the revised Consumer Complaint/Service Level Agreement (CC/SLA) of 2019.
A breakdown of the consumer complaints received within the period under review shows that 2,759 (91.4 per cent) came through the NCC Contact Centre; 188 (6.2 per cent) were received via the NCC Consumer Portal; 50 (1.7 per cent) complaints came to the Commission through its various social media platforms, while 22 (0.7 percent) were written complaints.
With respect to breakdown by service providers’ customers, 1,261 (51.8 per cent) of the total complaints were lodged by MTN customers, 973 representing 32.2 percent relate to Airtel subscribers, 549 (18.2 per cent) were accounted for by Globacom subscribers; 179 (5.9 per cent) by 9Mobile customers, while the remaining 52 complaints came from customers of other licensees.
On a month-on-month basis, 971 complaints were received in January, 1,039 in February and 1,009 in March. The report also shows that issues related to billings, quality of service/experience for voice and data were the three topmost complaint types from telecom consumers in the period under review.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said NCC, as a consumer-centric telecoms regulator, will continue to explore new initiatives to strengthen the existing consumer complaints management process while ensuring prompt and satisfactory resolution of all complaints.
He urged the consumers to continue to take advantage of the various channels made available by the Commission, including the 622 toll-free consumer complaints lines, the Commission’s consumer web portal on its website and other social media channels to promptly lodge their complaints in the event of service dissatisfaction.
Danbatta said: “NCC’s actions in this regard are in line with its mandate to protect and defend the rights and interests of the consumer, and to give concrete expression to its faith in the consumer as the lifeblood of the telecoms sector.”