To totally overcome the myriad of poor quality of service and begin to enjoy improved experience in the telecommunication industry,mobile phone users have thus been advised to desist grey market patronage.
The usage of substandard smart and feature phones constitute one of the major reasons why Nigeria is yet to improve mobile phone network experience and this, the industry regulator has said need to be corrected first.
Hence, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) called on Nigerians telecommunication consumers to shun the usage of substandard handsets.
The Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof Umaru Danbatta gave the warning in Abakaliki during a Consumer Outreach Programme.
According to Danbatta who was represented by the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs NCC, Mr Joseph Atoyebi, such handsets are responsible for the various network and related problems they experience during dialing or receiving of calls. “Consumers should use the handsets outlined in our manual as they have been certified to be efficient for telecommunication usages,” he said.
Danbatta also urged consumers who use smart phones to be aware of its complexities which are responsible for the difficulties experienced while using them.
“Many consumers complain that their data and credit are illegally deducted by service providers but they should understand that smart phones have various complex attributes.
“Smart phones should be switched-off when not in use as they automatically upgrade themselves and can deduct data in the process,” he said.
He also informed consumers that borrowing of credit from service providers is a business strategy which is not offered without costs.
“There are stipulated deductions from credit lent to consumers by service providers as nothing is free in the business parlance.
“Consumers are obligated to ensure the security of telecommunication installations such as masts and ensure they are not vandalised.
“They should also not buy ‘SIM’ cards that are already registered and not use their phone lines for criminal activities such as kidnapping,” he said.
Gov. David Umahi in his remark said that telecommunication plays an important role in advancing the growth and development of any society.
Umahi represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe noted that the nation would experience economic revitalisation if opportunities offered by telecommunication were properly harnessed.
“The NCC as the ombudsman can properly regulate unsolicited text messages, ring tones and illegal deductions by service providers and use it as a catalyst for economic growth.”
He said that the state government has inaugurated the Ebonyi Telecommunication Infrastructure Compliance Agency to ensure legal and proper development of telecommunication infrastructure in the state.
Mr Temipope Ogunsola, a Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) official informed the audience that most messages they claim to be unsolicited were actually for educational purposes.
The outreach programme which is the 79th edition in the NCC series has its theme as, ‘Information and Education as a Catalyst for Consumer Protection.’