Nigerian cellcos to face legal action over subscriber compensation

19 Sep 2013

Nigeria’s National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) says it is ready to begin legal action against mobile operators MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat after failing to reach an agreement on the compensation due to subscribers for poor quality of service (QoS). According to a report from ThisDay, NATCOMS president Deolu Ogunbanjo has met with subscriber groups across the country and is now prepared to take the issue to court: ‘Enough is enough, and it is time for us to address our challenges and get immediate response from the authorities concerned.’ He added: ‘Apart from asking the court to compel the operators to compensate subscribers, we are also pushing for a Consumer Management Process and Procedure law that will empower subscribers to demand for their rights when the need arises, and get immediate and adequate attention on any lawful demand.’

In the past, Nigeria’s operators have been fined by the industry regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for providing poor QoS. In November 2012 operators were banned from launching promotions and lotteries, in a bid to ease network congestion. Cellcos, meanwhile, have argued that capacity constraints alone are not to blame for poor service, stating that cable cuts during road works, sabotage of network infrastructure, multiple taxation and a lack of electricity are also partly responsible for their failure to meet service quality standards.