The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday the 12th of November banned Telecommunication Companies from engaging customers in further exploiting and patronizing promotions or lotteries. The battle between these telecommunications operators to be number 1 in Nigerian has left little or nothing to be desired of the companies as they use all sorts of devices to exploit the common user, under the guise of free gift/offers trying to win their business.
They have failed to fix the growing network congestion problem in Nigeria and instead drag people into different promotional treats which most times require the user to make massive calls within a short period of time or loose out on their winnings. This hinders people who otherwise would not bother with such promotions from making necessary emergency calls.
The NCC has made this decision following several complains from different users of different Network. Here is the press release from NCC.
The Commission has, in recent times been inundated with several complaints from consumers, Industry Stakeholders against the various promotions offered by Telecommunications Operators.
Consistent with its processes, the Commission has carefully evaluated the complaints received especially against the backdrop of sustaining the integrity of the networks, the general interest of the consumers, the socio-economic impact of these promotions on Operators and other relevant stakeholders.
The Commission is also mindful of its statutory responsibilities such as; to protect and promote the interest of consumers against unfair practices, promote fair competition in the industry by protecting Operators from misuse of market power and anti-competitive/unfair practices by other Operators.
i. In due regard to the afore-mentioned responsibilities therefore and having observed that these promotions have increased the number of minutes available to subscribers for use within a limited period of time thereby creating congestion in the networks as subscribers try to use up the available minutes within the stipulated time.
ii. That on-net calls were now being offered by Operators at tariffs well below the prevailing inter-connect rates thereby introducing anti-competitive practices and behaviour.
iii. That termination of calls were becoming increasingly difficult from one network to another and overall consumer experience on the networks has become very poor thereby making it extremely difficult for subscribers to make calls successfully.
Consequent upon the above-mentioned, the Commission therefore has banned all promotions by Telecommunications Network Operators as well as lotteries being carried out on such networks. This ban covers all proposed and approved promotions and lotteries on which the Commission has given approval further to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
This ban is with immediate effect and shall continue to remain in force until such a time as may be determined by the Commission. The Telecom Operators affected by this include the following:
• GLOBACOM LTD
• INTERCELLULAR NIG PLC
• VISAFONE COMMS LTD
• AIRTEL NETWORKS LTD
• MULTILINKS TELECOMS LTD
The Commission wishes to assure all Telecommunications consumers of its resolve to ensure that the Quality of Service offered across all networks is such that delivers value to the consumers.
Director, Public Affairs