NCC To Sanction Telecos Over Unauthorised Data Service Migration

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Monday, said it would sanction major service providers across the country for neglecting its directive in automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.

The Service providers to be sanctioned include MTN, Airtel and Globacom.

This information was contained in the Company’s 2015 third quarter Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report, which was posted on its website.

In addition, NCC said it had received numerous reports and complaints from subscribers on automatic deduction of airtime after exhausting their data bundle.

The NCC statement read: “Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCC Act, 2003. The commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directions.

“Where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/ billing rate for automatic migration.

“That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorisation of the subscriber via SMS.’’

The statement also revealed that Etisalat was in compliance with the directives, adding that the UAE based service providers, notifies its subscribers of depletion of their data bundle accounts, before due dates.

NCC also explained why it decided to sanction the defaulting service providers, the commission said, “Globacom is in compliance with Direction No. One as subscribers receive SMS detailing tariff rate for auto-migration on depletion of their data bundle, however, Globacom failed to obtain express consent from subscribers before migration to PAYG and therefore in violation of Direction No. Two.

“MTN is in compliance with Direction No.One, but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended on depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber.

“Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions, consequent upon the above, the Commission has issued a notice of intention to sanction the concerned service providers.”

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