Nigeria’s mobile subscribers have decried the dismal quality of the telecommunication services in the country, claiming it is businesses that are on the receiving end.
Speaking at the just concluded first National Telecoms Subscribers Summit held in the country’s capital Lagos, the subscribers slammed the telecoms for what they described as poor service quality that is adversely affecting Nigerian businesses.
The summit, which was organised by the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), gave subscribers an opportunity to ask questions directly from telecoms companies, the National Communications Commission (NCC) and a number of consumer protection agencies.
Issues that were raised at the summit bordered on the mobile operators’ sheer disregard of consumers’ rights, poor quality of services provided, inept attitudes of customer care service operators and illegal tariffs being charged the various networks.
Sola Ojo, an MTN subscriber, complained about the difficulty she encounters when trying to reach the network’s customer care service unlike the relative ease with which she’s able to connect to Airtel customer care line.
MTN was hailed for its numerous promotions and airtime bonuses, which consumers revealed are restricted to calls made only within the network. Other customers commended Etisalat for its value added services, while giving baling it for poor coverage in remote regions.
Globacom received praise for being the first network to introduce a policy that allows mobile users to pay on per second billing. It was however put at fault for the complexities in its tariff plans which according to Lateef Balogu,n are meant to “confuse and extort customers.”
While responding to all the issues raised, the public affairs director at the NCC, Tony Ojobo, said he was glad with the outpour of reactions at the summit.
Ojobo, said that before the end of the year, the commission will flag off number portability enabling subscribers to switch from one network to another while retaining their telephone number.
This, he said, would give telephone subscribers the choice of migrating from one network to another whenever they are dissatisfied with the service of any telecoms company.