Telcos get 30 days deadline to resolve subscribers’ complaints

The Nigerian Communications Commission is set to mandate network operators and non-network operators to resolve any problematic complaint by their subscribers within 30 days.

According to the commission, if the subscriber is not satisfied with the result of an original complaint, they can choose to refer it to the commission after a month of expressing their dissatisfaction to their operator. This was disclosed in its ‘Draft – Consumer Code of Practice Regulations’ document that was uploaded to its website on Monday.

It said, “In the event that a complaint, including any escalation process, has not been resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction within thirty days of being communicated to the Licensee, the Licensee shall advise consumers that they may refer the complaint to the commission.

“Any other dispute referred to the commission shall be resolved using the processes set out in its Dispute Resolution Guidelines or any Dispute Resolution procedure which the commission may deem appropriate in the circumstance.”

According to the NCC, original complaints by telecom consumers must be attended to within 30 days after their original filing.

It said, “Where possible, consumers shall be advised when they make a complaint of the expected actions and timing for investigating and resolving the complaints.

“In the event that the Licensee regards the complaint as frivolous or vexatious, the consumer shall be informed accordingly and if dissatisfied the consumer shall have the further recourse described below. In any event, no consumer complaint shall remain unresolved for more than three months.”

The commission stated that when a consumer is not satisfied with a decision reached, firms must give that consumer the option of pursuing an identified escalation process.

The NCC stated that licensees (network operators and non-network operators) must provide information about their complaint process in various media and formats to their customers.

It said they must provide a complaint handling policy that entails a line of complaint procedure that is transparent, accessible, and effective and facilitates appropriate access to alternative dispute resolution.

It explained that people with special needs and the elderly are able to access complaint handling processes, including that they can be easily represented by their authorised representatives in order to lodge a complaint if need arises.

According to the regulatory agency, any consumer complaints, and any related service failures, including payment of any specific service credits or rebates that aren’t attended to will eventually be treated in accordance with the provisions of its Quality of Service Regulations.

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