NCC orders telcos to refund illegal deductions or face sanctions
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has uncovered large volume of forceful subscriptions and illegal deductions by network providers, and has ordered network providers to refund such illegal deductions to subscribers.
NCC, noted with great displeasure the unacceptably high level of consumer complaints in respect of forceful subscriptions to Value-Added Services (VAS), as well as airtime deductions for these subscriptions.
The Commission said it has mandated several initiatives to tackle the menace.
According to the commission, such measures include the institution of a comprehensive investigation and resolution process, the Do-not-Disturb (DND) facility, and the imposition of sanctions for breach.
The Commission said it carried out a long and comprehensive investigative audit into VAS subscriptions across all MNO and VAS platforms.
The investigative audit was led by the Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement Department of the Commission, with participation from its other Departments such as the Technical Standards and Network Integrity (TSNI), Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), Legal & Regulatory Services (LRS), and Licensing & Authorisation (L&A).
The Audit Team analyzed subscribers’ Call Detail Records from MNOs and subscription logs from VAS providers over a period of two years, leading to the conclusion that a huge percentage of VAS services were not voluntarily subscribed for. The audit team also found that some providers had implemented disingenuous mechanisms by which large numbers of innocent consumers were “forcefully” subscribed to VAS platforms, leading to regular deduction of their airtime without their consent.