The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has filed a report at the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation against the telecommunications companies over poor services and asked that the National Communication Authority is made to be more proactive.
According to the CPA, the report became necessary after their office was inundated with complaints against telecommunication companies bothering on breach of privacy and network challenges. Other challenges consumers complained about were the high cost of data, unsolicited promotions and adverts and consistent call drops.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), Kofi Capito said: “We would like to call the attention of the Minister of Communications and the NCA about the very poor services by the telcos in recent time. With the advent of new technology, services by the telcos should have improved but the opposite seems to be the case.”
He added that with the NCA’s Quality of Service (QoS) mandate which assesses service providers to ensure they meet required license conditions, these challenges should have been realized and dealt with. The NCA’s QoS monitoring covers mobile, fixed and broadband services. Currently, the NCA only monitors mobile network services, which includes voice, data and network coverage from the user’s perspective in line with license conditions.
But the NCA has said that it is aggressively working to deal with the situation. In a press release, the authority said it had noted with great concern the spate of consumer complaints regarding the receipt and management of Unsolicited Electronic Communications (UECs), popularly referred to as unwanted calls and text messages.
Adding that, with government’s strides in digitalisation and e-government, it was imperative for telecommunication consumers to have a sanitised space to ensure that they are able to notice important messages they have subscribed to.
“Consequently, the guidelines for the management of UECs, which had been in place since 2014 has been withdrawn effective 1st August 2021. Additionally, the NCA in collaboration with the Data Protection Commission (DPC) has directed all Service Providers to be guided by Section 50 of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008, Act 772 and ensure that they transmit text messages to only consumers who have consented to a given service,” the statement said.
Consumers, on the other hand, were asked to be cautious about who, where, and how they share telephone number(s). Also, they were advised not to share telephone number(s) with strangers as well as not provide telephone number(s) at public events, where there are no disclaimer notices openly published with regard to their data or information.
Consumers were urged to read and understand the terms and conditions of services before subscribing to them. Also, whenever they receive messages that they have not consented to, they should report to their service provider. Where the service provider continues to send the unconsented or unwanted messages after reporting to them, there is an avenue to report the issue to the NCA.