What is the first thing a dissatisfied consumer of telecom services do in order to get his/her problem resolved?
A dissatisfied consumer should first of all contact his/her Service Provider who will resolve the problem, please note that your Service Provider is to issue you a Complaint Ticket Number. Where the consumer is still dissatisfied, He /She may lodge a complaint with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Contact Centre for redress.
What information must be provided in the written complaint?
The written complaint must state the following:
Other relevant information include:
- Affected phone number(s)
- Email of the dissatisfied consumer,
- Complaint description
- The date you first contacted your Service Provider
- Copies of any relevant supporting document such as Service agreement, bills, promotional leaflet, etc. which would assist in our investigation.
How can I get information about the Commission?
For enquiries about the Commission, kindly log onto www.ncc.gov.ng or call the NCC Toll free line NCC (622).
What information must be provided in the Online Complaint Form?
The Complaint Form must have a valid Ticket Number, Name, Address, phone number(s), e-mail of the dissatisfied Consumer and a brief description of the Complaint.
What is a Toll-Free Number and how does it work?
Toll-Free numbers are numbers that allow callers to reach businesses without being charged for the call. The charge for using a Toll-Free is paid by the called party (the Toll-free subscriber) instead of the calling party. Toll-free Numbers have proven successful for businesses particularly in the areas of customer service. The following are examples of toll-free numbers of telecom companies in Nigeria:
- 180 – MTN Customer Care Line
- 111 – Airtel Customer Care Line
- 121 – Globacom Customer Care Line
- 200 – 9mobile Customer Care line
- 400 – Ntel Customer Care Line
What happens when a consumer complaint is received by NCC Consumer Affairs Bureau?
The Consumer Affairs Bureau analyses the complaint and starts investigations immediately. Where the Bureau is satisfied that the Service provider has breached terms of its contract with the consumer or contravened the provisions of the Nigeria Communication Act 2003 and the Consumer Code of Practice regulation etc., the Bureau will contact service provider and report findings to the NCC on the outcome. The Bureau will mediate as appropriate to resolve the issues.
Will NCC Consumer Affairs Bureau get back to the consumer who lodged a complaint?
Yes, in the case where investigation are conclude in less than 48 hours, the dissatisfied consumer will be reached by phone or e-mail otherwise he/she will be communicated in writing, on the outcome of the investigation.
Do I have to pay for the services of the Consumer Affairs Bureau?
No, the services of the CAB are rendered FREE OF CHARGE.
Can an aggrieved consumer sue the Service Provider in a court of law over a breach of contract?
Yes. However, in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, an aggrieved consumer should first seek redress with the Service Provider and if unresolved seek redress with the NCC. A court action may be considered as a last option.
What are the rights of Telecom Consumers in Nigeria?
The rights of the Telecom Consumer in Nigeria include: the right to be informed, the right to safety, the right to choice and the right to be heard. The right to good quality of service, etc. However, note that consumers also have some obligations.
How can NCC protect my right as a Telecoms user?
- By mediating between the consumer and the Operators
- Protecting consumers against fraudulent and unscrupulous dealings.
- By educating consumers through the dissemination of relevant information. .
What avenues for redress are available within NCC?
The NCC has two distinct redress processes available to a displeased consumer:
- Consumer Complaints Resolution.
- Arbitration Process.
What issues can consumers complain to NCC about?
Consumers can lodge complaints on the following issues amongst others: doubtful billings, arbitrary disconnection of lines, nonchalant attitude towards genuine complaints, poor services delivery, inappropriate deceptive advertisements, unauthorized increase in price and supply of sub-standard equipment, exploitation and invasion of privacy.
Is NCC a Governmental Agency?
Yes, NCC is a full-fledged government agency with independent status to effectively regulate the activities of the operators, suppliers and consumers in the Telecommunications Industry.
What is Telecom Consumer Parliament?
The Telecoms Consumer Parliament serves as a Platform for consumer education and protection, as well as an avenue for telecom consumers to present their issues and problems directly to the Operators for resolution. It is a Forum convened by NCC, the industry regulator which draws participants from operating companies, consumers and officials of the Commission. The proceedings are usually televised in National Media. It features Civil Society groups, consumer rights groups and members of the Mass Media.
Are all issues raised at the Telecom Consumer Parliament resolved on the spot?
Some of the issues raised are resolved depending on their nature. Others are resolved after the programme. To ensure that such issues are resolved, NCC formally communicates those concerns to the Operators for resolution with definite time frames. The Commission follows up to ensure amicable resolutions.
Where and when is it held?
The Telecoms Consumer Parliament is held at a designated City or Town within a geo-political zone in Nigeria once every Quarter,in a year. There are six geo-political zones in the country. Detailed programme of event is usually announced through the print and electronic media ahead of time to galvanise stakeholders’ attendance.
Is Admission to the Telecoms Consumer Parliament free to every citizen?
Yes, it is free. Consumer information and education publications are also distributed at the forum free of charge to inform and educate consumers on salient consumer issues in the telecommunication industry.
When will the Telecom Consumer Parliament be held in my location so that I can have the opportunity to present my complaint?
The Telecoms Consumer Parliament rotates among the six geo-political zones. However you do not have to wait for the Telecoms Consumer Parliament to lodge a complaint. You can always lodge your complaint via the NCC Toll Free number (622), e-mail or in person at the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission or walk into any of our zonal offices around the country.
What is GSM?
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication). It is a second generation mobile telephony system that is currently the international standard for wireless technology. GSM allows users to utilize one phone and one number in many countries throughout the world.
What is a SIM card?
The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the smart card inserted inside all GSM Phones containing the telephone number of the subscriber, encoded network identification details, the PIN and many other user data such as the phone book. Unless restrictions are placed on the individual handsets by Network Operators, a GSM user’s SIM card can be moved from phone to phone as it contains all the key information required to activate the phone.
Is it true that the use of GSM (cell) phones is harmful to human beings?
There is no scientific evidence to support the contention that the use of mobile phone is harmful to human beings. The global scientific community is of the opinion that the low powered radio signal produced by mobile phones does not have sufficient intrinsic energy, and therefore, cannot pose health hazard to any kind of man.
How do I protect my SIM against any unauthorized use?
Each SIM has a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is a 4-digit code to protect it against any unauthorized use. The user has the ability to change the PIN, or set protocols for its use. If the phone is set to request for a PIN code, the phone cannot be used unless the correct PIN is entered.
What is PUK?
PUK is the acronym for PIN Unblock Key. This is a code used to unblock a blocked SIM card, which is obtained from the Network or Service Provider. Keying in an incorrect PUK ten times in a row will result in the SIM card becoming permanently blocked.
What is base station?
A base station is the primary sending and receiving site in a telecommunications facility network.
Is it safe to site telecoms mast in residential areas?
Yes it is safe. Except where antennas are placed directly towards nearby residential apartments instead of being on top of masts or high on a building, base stations do not pose any safety or health hazards when sited at residential areas. However, if the source of electricity to the cell is a generator, it should be positioned in such a way that fumes are not directed towards living rooms.
Are there places where the use of cell phones is prohibited?
For security and safety reasons, the use of cell phones is not allowed in an aircraft which is airborne, in hospitals, petrol stations, military zones, while driving a vehicle, and around nuclear plants.
How can I enjoy GPRS service offered by Telecom Operators?
The GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a GSM data transmission technique that does not set up a continuous channel from a portable terminal for the transmission and reception of data but transmits and receives data in packets.
To enjoy the GPRS service, consumers have to make sure that their phone sets are GPRS compatible. Also, they have to activate the GPRS settings sent to them by the Operator.
What is 3G?
3G, also referred to the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) is the third generation mobile cellular network that provide enhancements over its predecessors, like high-speed transmission, global roaming, advanced multimedia access, etc. Unlike its predecessors, 3G wireless technology is more of a data-centered network that offers support for web-based services, mobile data services, VoIP (Voice over IP – i.e. making calls over data) and other OTT (over-the-top) services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, etc.
What is 4G?
4G (fourth generation) also called the Long Term Evolution (LTE) is an advancement of the 3G that provides mobile service users with bandwidth higher than 100Mbps. 4G offers IP based solution, where multimedia services can be delivered to the users anytime and anywhere with high data rate, and good Quality of Service. Unlike the 3G, the 4G made the data experience of users much smoother, due to its high speed internet connection.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation cellular technology promises an immense improvement in terms of data speed and accessibility, and is expected to unleash a massive IoT (Internet-of-Things) ecosystem where networks can serve billions of interconnected devices, with high speeds, low latency (real-time interactivity) and cost. This development would lead to autonomic vehicles, interconnected and automated household devices, high support for Artificial Intelligence, big data, etc.
How useful is IMEI to the consumer?
The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique electronic serial number of GSM handsets which can be used by mobile carriers to block calls to and from stolen handsets. This may help in curbing the theft of mobile phones.
How do I handle fraudulent text messages sent to my phone?
Consumers have been advised to disregard text messages asking them to send money for prizes won from “promotions” or “games” that they never registered for. If in doubt, such persons can call their Service Provider for clarification or in the alternative report such to the Nigerian Communications Commission. Please note that Operators call winners on their phone and not through text messages.
I have been having problems using my phone. I loaded ten thousand naira but haven't been credited.
Thank you for bringing this to our notice; have you contacted your Service provider? If yes, could you please give us your details – phone number, ticket number, your name and location? Your Service Provider would be contacted to investigate and resolve the issue.
I was barred while trying to load an MTN N750 recharge card?
Kindly dial 180 on your phone and listen to the language menu then select your desired language and follow the voice prompt on how to unbar your line. Please revert to us if you have difficulties in correcting the anomaly.
What is NCC doing to curb the theft of cell phones?
NCC has licensed a company Net visa to carry out the registration of stolen phone which will be connected to the local register of all Service Providers. Subscribers are expected to register their phone IMEI with their respective Service Providers to enable them block the phone from unauthorized use in case of theft.
NCC is also trying to make handsets very cheap and readily available by encouraging manufacturers here in Nigeria so as to discourage theft.
What should I do when am being charged for undelivered text messages, ring-tones, screensavers etc?
First complain to your Service Provider and get back to us if the situation is not remedied.
I bought a pre-paid call card and could not use it, what do I do?
You should first complain to your Service Provider and if unresolved, get in touch with NCC with relevant information such as your name, Phone number, Ticket number, Service Provider, their contact phone number and addresses.
How can I get information on the total number of telecom subscribers in Nigeria as today?
Visit the NCC website on www.ncc.gov.ng or the websites of the Service Providers.