Cellcos to notify subscribers of call length, outstanding balance

2 Nov 2012

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has requested that all telecoms operators introduce a system whereby at the end of a call customers are informed by SMS the length and cost of the call and how much credit is remaining, in a move aimed at reducing complaints about billing irregularities. Local newspaper Punch cites a statement from the NCC as saying that any operator that fails to commence the service from 1 November 2012 would be liable to a fine of NGN5 million (USD31,400) and a further NGN500,000 per day for as long as the contravention continued. ‘The NCC had in a directive issued since August 2012, mandated that from 1 November 2012, all mobile operators shall send, free of charge, a message or an alert to both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers after every call, SMS, or system generated charge or tariff, with a proviso that a subscriber can opt out if he or she so wishes,’ the statement said, adding: ‘The directive mandates the service providers to send messages containing six critical [pieces of] information including: exact duration of the call minutes and seconds; total cost for each call or SMS; customer accounts balance after the last call for pre-paid and SMS; customer 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 post-paid customers; and cost of services and credit balance upon request by customer for data service.’