Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta
Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta

NCC to the rescue as telecom users lament billing by network operators

By Ezekiel O. Kayode

In the first quarter of 2021, more Nigerians placed a call to the Nigerian Communications Commission to communicate their displeasure with how they were being billed by network operators, according to a report by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission.

Nigerians have also been calling to complain that they were unsatisfied with the service experienced on voice calls and while surfing the internet.

The report detailed the effectiveness of the Commission while dealing with service-related complaints of telecom users. The figures announced were pulled from the months of January up till March.

It says the commission successfully resolved 99.2% of all service-related complaints made by telecom users from major network operators.

The report is in line with NCC’s mandate to “give concrete expression to its faith in the consumer as the lifeblood of the telecoms sector,” said Prof Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC.

The commission received complaints in excess of 3000 this quarter compared to 2,854 complaints received in the first quarter of 2020. Of the 3,019 complaints it received, the commission resolved those of 2,995 persons. Only 24 were left unresolved.

A large proportion of the complaints were received through the NCC contact Centre—2,759 Nigerians registered their complaints this way at 91.4%. A further 188, at 6.2%, registered theirs through the NCC customer portal on the Commission’s website.

More than half the complaints were from telecom consumers who had encountered issues with MTN services. The complaints totalled 1,261, at 51.8%. The rest of the complaints were split among 973 (32.2%) Airtel subscribers, 549 (18.2%) Globacom subscribers, 179 (5.9%) 9Mobile subscribers and 52 customers from licenses outside the major network operators.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is encouraging telecom users to continue to communicate all service-related grievances using the commission’s 622 toll-free complaint line, the customer portal on its website and through its social media channels.

Prof Danbatta added that the commission is keen to take on new initiatives that better the experience of customers while lodging complaints and will continue to ensure that complaints are promptly addressed.