If you have had the painful experience of having your airtime balance deducted from your account upon the exhaustion of your data bundle without your permission, then this news might just excite you as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to sanction MTN, Airtel and Globacom for this unethical practice.
The NCC on Monday in its ‘2015 3Q Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report’, said the aforementioned networks defied the directive on automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.
The NCC said it had continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go Billing on depletion of their data bundle.
“Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCA 2003, the commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directions.
“That where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/billing rate for automatic migration.
“That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorization of the subscriber via SMS”, it said.
The regulatory body said that a follow-up compliance check was carried out which revealed that Etisalat was in compliance with the directives.
NCC also said that Etisalat sought the consent of subscribers before automatically migrating them to the Pay-As-You-Go data service.
“Globacom is in compliance with Direction No. 1 as subscribers receive SMS detailing tariff rate for auto-migration on depletion of their data bundle.
“However, Globacom failed to obtain express consent from subscribers before migration to PAYG and therefore in violation of Direction No. 2.
“MTN is in compliance with Direction No.1 but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended on depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber.
“Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions”, NCC said.