Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Validity: NATCOMS demands compensation from Starcomms

NATIONAL Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), has demanded compensation from a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator, Starcomms, for not adhering to directives by the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over its inability to increase validity days on the network in the last eight months.

ITRealms Online recalled that NCC had earlier this year directed Starcomms to increase its validity periods for any loaded recharge card to a minimum of 90 days. But Starcomms did not abide by the directive, even as NATCOMS planned to drag Starcomms to court before the telco last month increased validity to 90 days.

President, NATCOMS, Chief Deola Ogunbanjo, who disclosed this in Lagos, said that Starcomms despite previous warnings has continued to give subscribers on the network 15-day airtime validity instead of 90 days or 180 days as obtained in other networks until last October.

According to him, during the month of October, NATCOMS observed in the nation’s telecommunications industry as it concerned subscribers about Starcomms insistence in the last eight months to give its consumers just 15 days validity for loaded recharge cards.

In the month of September this year, he said, NATCOMS had warned Starcomms that if they do not increase their validity period to the minimum of 90 days, NATCOMS would take the operator to court over the issue.

This, he said, was because, Starcomms refused to comply with the directive given by NCC in the last two quarters.

"But on discovery of NATCOMS seriousness, Starcomms, last month, October, increased the validity period," he said.

Against the afore-mentioned, NATCOMS said subscribers on Starcomms network are demanding for compensation for deliberately ignoring the regulator’s directive overtime and delaying the implementation, to the disadvantage of subscribers as well as loss of call validity period by subscribers.

Equally, Ogunbanjo said that during the third week of October, 2008, several subscribers on MultiLinks Telkom’s network could not recharge their credit, which prompted NATCOMS to intervene by paying a visit to the operator’s customer care centre at Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island only to be told that Head, Consumer Affairs Department, Mrs. Odulaja, was not available.

Eventually, NATCOMS contacted NCC through the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs. Lolia Emakpore, who took immediate action on the matter, and promised an early resolution.

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