By Bunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. November 5, 2012: A government-mandated directive that all phone subscribers be furnished with billing information immediately after each call has gone into effect this month, the nation’s telecoms regulator has said.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the new directive requires all telecoms operators in the country to provide instant SMS notifications after each call that must be free to all subscribers.
NCC says that any defaulting telecoms operator risks a N5 million fine on the regulatory directive that instant short message notification must be sent phone users on both post-paid and pre-paid plans effective from November 1, this year.
Similarly, data service customers may also request information on cost of services and credit balance free.
Reuben Muoka, Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC, says the SMS must give subscribers full details of the cost of the call and remaining balance citing that every subscriber can opt out if they so wish.
The telecoms regulator says that any operator that fails to provide the service to its subscribers will be liable to N5 million fine as sanction and a further N500,000 per day for as long as the contravention persisted.
NCC says the directive was issued in August, this year that all telecoms operators shall send, mandatorily, the message or alert to all subscribers after every call, SMS or system-generated charge or tariff.
According to Muoka, the directive orders the telecoms operators to include in the messages six compulsory information: Duration of the call in minutes and seconds; total cost of call or SMS; subscriber’s account balance after the last call for prepaid customers and SMS; customer’s account balance after a charge or tariff and the reason for the charge or tariff; cumulative call charges up to the last call within the charging period for postpaid customers; cost of services and credit balance upon request by customer for data service.
NCC explains that the directive was in response to major complaints by subscribers seeking to know the actual amounts that telecoms operators deduct from their credit balances for each call or SMS sent.