Telecommunication network operators and non-network operators in Nigeria have been mandated to address subscribers’ issues within the period of one month.
The directive handed down by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), warned that no customer complaint should be left unattended within 30 days period, Naija News understands.
The commission said that when a subscriber is not satisfied with the result of an original complaint laid to the operator, they can choose to refer the issue to the commission after a month of unfruitful results from their operator.
A document sighted on the official website of the commission said any dispute referred to the commission shall be duly resolved using the processes set out in its Dispute Resolution Guidelines or any Dispute Resolution procedure which the commission may deem appropriate in the matter at hand.
The document tagged ‘Draft – Consumer Code of Practice Regulations’ 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.”
The NCC said original complaints by telecom consumers must be attended to within 30 days after their original filing.
“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 document noted.
Also, 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 compliant handling policy that entails a line of complaint procedure that is transparent, accessible, and effective and facilitates appropriate access to alternative dispute resolution.
The document also 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 they 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.
Every complaint handling process according to NCC, must be free except when the investigation of the complaint requires the retrieval of records more than two years old and results in any incremental expense or significant inconvenience to the firm, Naija News reports.
Also, the NCC has stated that network operators and non-network operators in the nation must attend to enquiries concerning current service arrangements, including rates, terms and conditions for all services offered to the public, at retail offices, or on their websites within 96 hours.
In his position, the President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo said the option has been available for a while and consumers can complain to the NCC by dialing 622.
He added that the NCC should work on ways to ensure that these complaints are attended to within a week, Naija News reports.