CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS
The National Telecommunications Commission maintains that ‘The Consumer is always right’ and that it is incumbent on the overall service providers to respect and uphold the rights of the consumer. The Commission therefore accords every consumer of telecommunications services the following entitlements, rights and privileges, irrespective of their status in life.
These rights are:
THE RIGHT TO BE INFORMED:Consumers must be provided with factual, timely and comprehensive information about products, services and anticipated obstructions in services, in a clear, accurate and understandable form, avoiding all misleading information contained in advertisements and public notices. Service providers are therefore required to assist consumers in making rational choices and decisions based on information provided by the service provider. A failure on the part of the service providers to comply with attributes of this right, shall amount to a breach of consumer’s right to disclosure of all relevant information pertaining to products, services and operations.
THE RIGHT TO SAFETY:Consumers must be protected, by service providersagainst the marketing of wholesome, poisonous, sub-standard, and toxic or defective goods\services provided by service providers. The commission considers such practices as unacceptable, and shall impose adequate sanctions and penalties for such or similar conduct by service operators.
THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY: Consumers must be protected from the inappropriate use of information gathered by service providers in the course of providing telecommunications service. It is required of service providers to protect the privacy of the financial, personal and other confidential information on consumers, and the commission shall impose sanctions and penalties to ensure that service providers respect this right.
THE RIGHT TO CHOICE: Consumers shall be provided with access to information on a variety of products and services available within the portfolio of service providers, and at competitive prices that offers options on products and services that exist for the different segments of subscribers in the market. In accordance with the fundamental principles of a free market system, consumers have the right to choose between options without coercion or harassment by service providers.
THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD: Consumers have the right to be heard through appropriate procedures and structures established by individual service providers. Service providers are therefore required to provide consumers with ample opportunities to lodge grievances, express their option, register their complaints and suggest ways and means of improving the services delivered to consumers and users of telecoms services.
IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THESE RIGHTS ARE UPHELD THE COMMISSION MAINTAINS ACTIVE DIALOGUE THROUGH ITS “CONSUMER PARLIAMENT” FORUM WHICH SITS NATIONWIDE AS AN EFFECTIVE MEANS BY WHICH CONSUMERS’ CONCERNS AND
PROBLEMS ARE HEARD AND RESOLVRED BY OPERATORS/SERVICE PROVIDERS
AND THE REGULATOR.