MTN, Airtel, Others May Face Sanctions Over Unsolicited Telemarketing – Says NCC

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MTN, Airtel, Others May Face Sanctions Over
Unsolicited Telemarketing For failing to comply with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directive on the Do Not Disturb (DND) directives, issued to them on April 20,2016, 13 network operators risk severe Sanctions by theCommission.
They are however given another one-week
ultimatum being from Monday, November 14, 2016 to remedy the situation or face the Sanctions enshrined in the directive.
Worried by the non-compliance by the operators
occasioned by a deluge of complaints by
subscribers across Nigeria, the NCC inaugurated an eight – member committee to look into the matter.
After several meetings, including those it held
with the network providers, it became necessary to
issue the latest ultimatum to redress the menace of incessant unsolicited text messages and phone calls for telemarketing via the various
networks, a statement by the NCC Director, Public
Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo said.
The network operators, include Airtel Network
Limited, MTN Nigeria, Globacom Nigeria, Smile
Communication, Visafone Communications, Ntel, Etisalat, Multi links, Starcomms, Danjay Telecoms, Gamjitel Limited and Gicell wireless.
The NCC has written to all 13 networks providers
on whose networks it has received series of
complaints from subscribers regarding the efficacy of the Do Not Disturb(DND) service.
The statement said that the Commission had
engaged mobile network operators on this subject and further directs that: the phrase Network generated SMS’ referred to part(d) of the duration issued on April 20, 2016 to network providers shall be taken to mean:
messages and calls with respect to only:
. information on emergencies for example,
national security, fire;.Notifications on network
maintenance programmes down times and.
Notification regarding subscribers bundle usage and service renewals.
Other text messages and voice calls informing
subscribers of new products and service offerings are not regarded as network generated and therefore regarded as “unsolicited marketing messages”.
The NCC has therefore asked these network
providers to ensure that information on the Do Not
Disturb service should be disseminated after every revenue generating activity via the End of Call Notification (EOCN) for the period not less than 45 days within the hours of 8am to 8 pm daily from the receipt of the latest letter on the subject.

The operators are also admonished to deploy this
information through all their channels of
communications,
including websites, social media platforms, bill
boards, flash messages, text messages, Interactive Voice Response platform, radio jingles, newspapers advertisements and television commercials.

The statement said that this notice serves as a
pre-enforcement notice and “Failure to comply with the directives, in furtherance of the Direction of April 20, 2016, within seven days from November 14, 2016 shall result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions”.The menace of unsolicited text messages has been a nightmare to several millions of subscribers and the Commission can no longer accept any excuses whatsoever from the network providers, Ojobo said in the statement.

Signed: Tony Ojobo
Director , Public Affairs (NCC)

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