Multiple complaints from subscribers have finally moved the Nigerian Communications Commission to begin to scrutinize VAS operators for their auto-renewal services rendered in connection with Mobile Network Operators.
Subscribers have decried the services have been geared towards swindling Network users.
As such, the telecoms regulator has called for the suspension of auto-renewal services till further notice.
The VAS operators have responded to the move, saying ‘shutting auto-renewal services was not the solution.’ They asked instead that the commission give them some time to carry out a complete overhaul of the system and solicited the support of the telecom companies.
The commission has directed an adoption of a unified VAS Code for proper monitoring and sanction of erring service providers, a move inspired by a desire to protect the consumers who often have to bear the brunt of the charges.
‘Our concern is for the consumers. We need to flush out the bad service providers to allow the right people to use and enjoy the system,’ the commission added.
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Speaking during the 1st yearly Nigeria Value Added Service (VAS) forum in Lagos, the commission tasked stakeholders on a strategic partnership to drive the development and proliferation of applications that will meet the needs of consumers.
‘We have issues where consumers are ripped off by forcefully subscribing to services that they did not willingly subscribe and are also renewed on such services which they do not opt-in.
‘What we are saying is that consumers must decide on what service to go on and at what time they want to opt out of the services. This is what we are trying to impose,’ the commission stressed.
Executive Commissioner Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), Maska Ubale, noted that the commission has allocated shortcodes to about two hundred and thirty-three (233) VAS licenses for the provision of different 156 services and this has immensely enhanced service delivery in the Nigerian telecom industry.