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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FCMB: Stop this midnight SMS affair

Market Intelligence:

Over time, the Nigerian telecommunications subscribers, since the coming of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), have been subjected to all manner of mid-night Short Messaging Service (SMS).

In business, there exist etiquette that must be abided by all, both by the customers and business entities.

This is very relevant especially in an environment where a system is just evolving like in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector.

In Africa, for instance and Nigeria in particular, people toil all day long to survive and cherish to rest at night, but in a situation whereby operators conspire with commercial entities like banks, airline operators to name a few; who are supposed to know to deliver commercially-based messages to the subscribers at odd hours is totally unacceptable and have been condemned severally by the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

For instance, FCMB SMS advert was distributed on July 12 at 4:56am which read: “Together they DREAM, BELIEVE, DARE, DISCOVER, CREATE AND DELIVER … Two minds united to chart a course and make a difference …. My Bank & I.”

And as if this was not enough, on July 13, at 1:48, another followed thus, “My Bank and I: A true story of true relationship based on Trust, Honesty and unwavering commitment to creating wealth. THIS COULD BE YOUR STORY!!!!!”

Though operators may be unaware of this, its necessary for them to invite their agents for talks mostly bulk SMS dealers to ensure they respect other people’s privacy.

This is because the first impression one got on seeing or noticing an SMS at the odd hours, is that, it must be very urgent.

Consumer Protection Agency and NCC should not wait until telecom subscribers drag these organisations to the law court before waking up to their responsibilities. Before then, can someone tell FCMB to stop this midnight SMS affair?


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