Network operators in the country have up till June 30, 2016, to put an end to sending unsolicited Short Message Service (SMS) or calls to subscribers or face sanctions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). According to the Regulatory Department of the NCC to network operators showed that the telecom firms risk N5 million fine if they failed to comply with the directive as at June 30, and further N500,000 per day for as long as the contravention persists.
The letter was specifically directed to 13 Mobil Network Operators (MNOs) including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat. Also other notable service providers which include Ntel, Smile Communication, Visafone Communication.
According to the president of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, “A time they will tell you they have automatically renewed what you never subscribed for and deduct money. Such messages claim between N50 – N500 monthly from subscribers. The industry must look at this very fast and act on it.”
Nigerians welcomed the decision when ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with them about their take on the new development by the NCC. In the chat, many revealed how unsolicited SMS has been affecting their to unlimited network access.
MISS SARAH ADEYEMI – I wonder why network providers will force packages on subscribers, I remember sometime ago when N50 was deducted from my account weekly for ring back tune I didn’t subscribe for. It’s so annoying. Those unsolicited SMS need to be banned.
Another method of exploiting Nigerians is through flash message, most people will click ok without knowing they have subscribed for a package they knew nothing about. I think this network providers have been making a lot of money by sending us all those messages.
I will be very glad if NCC will be strict about this with every means of sanction.
DAMILARE AROJOJOYE – If NCC fails to stop all those fraudulent acts of unsolicited SMS/calls, that means they are part of those taking our money. We have been waiting for this move for long. The NCC should have done something about this for long. These network providers have taken advantage of many Nigerians.
I have SIMS at home that I have abandoned all because of the unnecessary deduction in my account balance. Money deducted from our account at will and forcing people to subscribe for what they don’t want.
I think the NCC has just done what we have been longing for. It’s a good one.
CHRISTIAN OKEKE – I suggest NCC should enforce unified exit option from all these packages from all the networks. Also the consumer protection agency like SERVICOM are not doing enough so far. Those messages make me feel like abandoning my phone at times.
N50 is deducted from my account every time I recharge, I learnt the deduction is for one to learn English package that I don’t even know anything about. Later, they started deducting N100 for Sahara report. It is seriously annoying. Now I can’t even recharge my line.
BABATUNDE NELSON – The issue of unsolicited SMS/calls is baffling, daily, I can’t count the number of unsolicited messages I get from network providers. l remember a certain number called me some time ago (+55515), I picked, it was about Catholic catechism. After the voice prompt, I ended the call. Immediately I dropped the call, I got an SMS that N100 had been deducted from my account for subscribing to catholic catechism, I was shocked.
I called the customer care agency to complain, I was told there’s nothing they can do about this issue, “The message is a third party affair, not from us. So there’s nothing we can do to help you out”, she said. This is what made me abandon the SIM because they keep deducting N100 on every recharge. I think the NCC has just done the right thing.
MRS. GRACE POPOOLA – I think the NCC has not been very active about this issue of unsolicited SMS/calls has been frustrating. The network providers are exploiting us all this while. I think this move by the NCC shows they are back alive and I hope this will curb the activity of fraudsters in the system.
FOLARIN AGBOOLA – The activities of the network providers should be surveyed. I think they have allowed too many fraudulent activities in the system. The unsolicited SMS/calls even flash messages is what I experience every day, the frustrating thing about this is that, the network provider will tell you there’s nothing they can do about those messages because it’s from third parties.
It’s absurd, the NCC should be strict about this. I personally think the N5 million is too small, this people have exploited over N5 million from us. So the fine for those who will keep sending those messages should be more.