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NCC warns consumers over use of substandard handsets

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned telecommunication consumers against the usage of substandard handsets.

Mr Joseph Atoyebi, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs of the commission gave the warning on Thursday in Abakaliki during a Consumer Outreach Programme .

According to him, such handsets are responsible for the various network and related problems they experience during dialling or receiving of calls.

“Consumers should use the handsets outlined in our manual as they have been certified to be efficient for telecommunication usages,” he said.

Atoyebi also urged consumers who use smartphones to be aware of its complexities which are responsible for the difficulties experienced while using them.

“Many consumers complain that their data and credit are illegally deducted by service providers but they should understand that smart phones have various complex attributes.

“Smartphones should be switched-off when not in use as they automatically upgrade themselves and can deduct data in the process,” he said.

He also informed consumers that borrowing of credit from service providers is a business strategy which is not offered without costs.

“There are stipulated deductions from credit lent to consumers by service providers as nothing is free in the business parlance.

“Consumers are obligated to ensure the security of telecommunication installations such as masts and ensure they are not vandalised.

“They should also not buy ‘SIM’ cards that are already registered and not use their phone lines for criminal activities such as kidnapping,” he said.

Gov. David Umahi in his remark said that telecommunication plays an important role in advancing the growth and development of any society.

Umahi represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe noted that the nation would experience economic revitalisation if opportunities offered by telecommunication were properly harnessed.

“The NCC as the ombudsman can properly regulate unsolicited text messages, ring tones and illegal deductions by service providers and use it as a catalyst for economic growth.”

He said that the state government has inaugurated the Ebonyi Telecommunication Infrastructure Compliance Agency to ensure legal and proper development of telecommunication infrastructure in the state.

Mr Temipope Ogunsola, a Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) official informed the audience that most messages they claim to be unsolicited were actually for educational purposes.

The outreach programme which is the 79th edition in the NCC series has its theme as, ‘Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection.’

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