No compensation for counterfeit cellphones, says CCK

The Communication Commission of Kenya, CCK, has issued a statement suggesting that it will not compensate the grey handset owners whose devices will be switched off on September 30.

CCK’s general director Francis Wangusi said the commission has reached at an agreement with Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) not to compensate the non-genuine mobile phone owners.
He further said that those who would be affected should go ahead and purchase genuine handsets from certified retailers.
The consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) had earlier threatened to go to court to stop the switch off plans terming it as infringing on consumers rights.
Cofek executive director Stephen Mutoro said that the federation decided not to go to court after a research conducted by Infotrak Harriss (a leading marketing and research firm in Kenya)last month revealed a higher percentage of mobile phone owners as supporting the government’s switch off plans.
Those interviewed, from country’s major towns including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Machakos, Embu, Nyeri, Eldoret, Nakuru and Kakamega, agreed the grey handsets are a potential cause of pnone-based crime-related activities. Eldoret topped with 76 percent while Nairobi was the highest in opposing the plans by 40 percent.

Mutoro said increased vigilance by the government agencies would make it possible to arrest such counterfeit gadgets estimated at 2 million in the country.

Last year, CCK had postponed the switch off plans three times given the lack of technicality toward implementation of the project.
Wangusi has promised that the ‘process will be successful’ as the company has engaged in sensitizing consumers and main service providers consisting of Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Essar Yu and Orange Kenya will send Short Message Service (SMS) notification to owners of counterfeit handsets.
Earlier this year, CCK released 2011 research report which indicated that mobile subscribers in the country are close to 29.2 million while mobile banking transaction through the Central bank for is KSh116 billion (about US$1.4 billion).

Mobile phone users can confirm the status of their phones by dialling *#06#, for an identification number (IMEI) to be sent to 1555 via SMS.

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