The Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) has decried the inconsistent act of telecom promotions by telecom operators across the country.
The Parliament in its 55th edition of the monthly Telecom Consumer Parliament conducted by the Lagos Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) recently said the critic became necessary following the widespread criticism against a good number of the promotions by subscribers.
The forum with the theme “Problems and Prospects of ICT Promotions in Nigeria” focused on issues surrounding promotions by operators where subscribers are ripped-off of their funds.
Speaking at the forum, the Vice Chairman NCC, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe maintained that the theme of the TCP was to shed more light on the various promotions adding that thousands of criticisms have been received from subscribers due to their high loss of millions of naira to the promotions.
He said “the way the promotions are executed is a concern to the commission and we cannot hold back while the consumers we are to protect are complaining”.
While reacting to the claims by the representatives of the various GSM companies who unanimously stressed that the motives behind the promotions was to reward subscribers for their patronage over the years to repackage their brands for wider acceptability and to increase subscriber base, Ndukwe stated that their views were contrary to the regulatory practice of the National Lottery Commission (NLC) going by the end points of the promotions.
“I think the operators have to come out with a clear cut definition of the method of their promotions for proper understanding of their subscribers”.
He explained that the National Lottery Commission sees promotions as a reward to subscribers with every participant being given a prize but regretted that over the period, the reverse had been the case.
Ndukwe therefore urged all telecom operators in the country to desist from decieving subscribers of engaging in reward ventures when they are actually into sales promotion.
On their parts, the National Lottery Commission after an analogy between the telecom promotions and lottery explained that the promotions were only into lottery exercise as subscribers are lured to exhaust their funds instead of being rewarded.
Similarly, the consumer protection department of the NCC lamented the alarming rate of unsolicited short message services (SMS) by telecom operators to subscribers urging them to invest more money into the promotion as a criterion for winning chances.