…Warns service providers against unwholesome practices
Major mobile network operators (MNOs) in the country recorded 9,077 cases of service outages on their networks in the second quarter of the year, resulting in unexpected disruptions to operators’ network quality of service (QoS) delivery and intermittent quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.
The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, disclosed this in a presentation delivered during the first Virtual Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) hosted by the Commission recently in Abuja.
- Adewolu *
According to Adewolu, of the 9,077 service outages recorded by the operators, 3,585 were caused by incidences of denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance, 4,972 were triggered by incidences of fibre cuts from construction activities and vandalism while 520 cases were as a result of incidences of generator and battery theft at sites.
Adewolu, however, noted that in a proactive step to mitigate the challenges, the Commission had swiftly responded by taking some major decisions to mitigate any unforeseen challenges that may cause serious disruptions in service delivery to the consumers throughout the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “the Commission approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic.” These include fibre optic cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments.
He charged operators on the need to increase and improve their network capacity following the unprecedented increase in consumer demand.
“Also, service providers must embark on pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaign about data usage and billing to ensure their subscribers have all the required information to make informed decisions so as get value for money spent. Operators also need to train and equip their customer care personnel on consumer complaint management as well as ensuring that consumer complaints are resolved conclusively and in line with the revised Service Level Agreement (SLA),” Adewolu said.
He warned service providers to refrain from indulging in unwholesome practices such as modification of data plan without informing the consumers, putting out promotional advertorials without prior approval by the Commission, changing the names and nomenclature of promotions from what was approved, among others to short-change the consumers, warning that the Commission will not hesitate to sanction erring operators.
The ECSM noted that the Consumer Code of Practice requires that once a contract agreement is signed, both parties should adhere to the contract terms and conditions and where a change is required, the validity period should end before any modification is effected.