Africell rejects regulator claim that it was forced to refund users

19 Feb 2020

Gambian mobile operator Africell has dismissed claims by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that the watchdog ordered it to refund and compensate customers that were mis-sold an ‘unlimited’ 4G data package, arguing that in fact it had informed PURA of the situation itself. The regulator had issued a notice stating: ‘PURA received numerous complaints from aggrieved subscribers pertaining to the unilateral decision by Africell to change its unlimited bundle offering. The Authority notes with significant concern that the decision from Africell violates the notification principles attached to all tariff changes and package offers.’ However, Musa Ceesay, Head of Corporate Affairs at Africell, told The Point newspaper: ‘I want to make it clear to you that it was Africell that in fact put the offer before PURA. The welfare of our customers is among our top priorities. We decided to make sure that those customers that were affected are refunded and we also compensated them.’

Mr Ceesay noted that Africell had failed to inform subscribers that unlimited internet access was currently unavailable, due to network congestion problems, adding: ‘In our continued efforts to ensure that all customers are satisfied, Africell will be refunding all affected subscribers with the credit used to buy the unlimited bundles.’ Ceesay also highlighted that Africell had recently invested USD6 million in Chinese network equipment to upgrade its internet access services. The new gear, due for shipment soon, is expected to solve the issues associated with network congestion, according to the executive.