Barring any unforeseen circumstance, millions of internet users in Nigeria would this week start enjoying the benefit of rolling over unused data which they could not exhaust at the original expiry date following the introduction of the Data Roll-Over policy by the National Communications Commission (NCC).
According to the NCC, the Data Roll-Over policy would come into effect this week following complaints from millions of data subscribers that they were being short-changed by internet service providers as a result of the non-implementation of the policy in the country.
The official statistics provided by the NCC as at year showed internet users in Nigeria were in the region of between 98.3 million and 149.3 million, connected to mobile telecommunications, with players in the industry predicting steady growth of mobile telecommunications subscribers.
Delivering his address at the 39th edition of Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM), in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, said the Data Roll-Over policy was among the latest in the recent directives introduced by the telecommunications regulatory body to ensure that subscribers enjoy the worth of what they subscribed to.
“As you may be aware, the Commission has been inundated with various complaints such as: Unsolicited text messages and calls; Failure/refusal to roll over unused data at the expiration and activation/subscription to data and value-added services (VAS), without prior consent of the subscriber, among others.
“In response to the above major complaints, the Commission, as consumer-centric institution has taken appreciate steps such as: Development of 2442 DND Short Code to solve unsolicited text messages/calls; Issuance of directives to Service Providers on Data Roll-over which now enabled consumers to roll over unused data for period of time, ranging from 1 day to 7 days , depending on your data plan. This takes effect from 26th of June, 2018.
“Issuance of directives to Service Providers on forceful subscription of data and Value Added Services (VAS) which directs Service Providers to resist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services without prior consent of subscribers. This has taken effect from 21st of May, 2018.
“The Commission also developed 622 Toll-Free Line through which you can easily lodge complaints for any unresolved service issues to the NCC,” Adedigba said.
Adedigba added that the CTM in Akpabuyo was one in the series of such endeavours lined-up to educate Nigerians and protect consumers from , what the Commission views as “unwholesome practices by some service providers.”
He said the programme was to enable a “tripartite meeting of the Regulators, Operators and Consumer to resolve pressing consumer issues with respect to provision of telecom services.”
Adedigba said that, so far, adequate steps had been taken to regulate illegalities and violation of consumer’s right by some service providers, and that in future more policies aimed at protecting the customer would be rolled out to further protect telecommunications subscribers