Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nigerian Operators Under Fire For Their Promos

THE national body of telecoms subscribers in Nigeria has decried the absence of transparency in the promotions run by telecoms service providers.
The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), lamented the fact that many subscribers still had doubts regarding the authenticity of some of the promotions.
It argued that more stakeholders ought to be involved in the process of choosing winners.
NATCOMS national president Deolu Ogunbanjo said the operators created room for suspicion because they were only comfortable with the presence of the officials of the regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), stressing
that telecoms sector advocacy groups must also be involved to add credibility to the promotions.
"Some subscribers believe that many of these corporate, product, brand promotions (except reality shows) are never 100 percent won by subscribers or consumers.
"If the promo says subscribers or consumers are to win 500 or 1 000 items or monetized raffles or draws, it is alleged that only about 20 percent to 25 percent of these promo winnings and benefits actually go to subscribers or consumers," Ogunbanjo said.
"It is not sufficient to invite the NCC and the CPC as they are government agencies. It becomes necessarily sufficient to invite reputable, consistent and relevant telecommunications industry advocacy groups to instill confidence in the process," he suggested.
Ogunbanjo commended Etisalat's US$1,000,000 (9jillion promo) which he described as unprecedented. The president, however, suggested that the grand prize money be shared among 10 other subscribers.
"While commending the first-ever dollar-denominated products and sales promotion in Nigeria's telecommunications history since 2001, we would like to appeal to Etisalat's management to take a second look at the ultimate winner's prize sum of $1,000,000 for just one subscriber.
"We are appealing and recommending that 10 subscribers should be the ultimate beneficiary of $1,000,000 at $100,000 each.
"With this situation, 10 Etisalat subscribers will be rewarded, encouraged and empowered along with other on-net subscribers that have already benefited in the on-going 9jillions promo," Ogunbanjo said.
On the on-going Zain Joli promo, he said: "We reluctantly appreciate Zain for migrating to the Zain Joli Promo free of any charges. However, subscribers and consumers have complained that while the promo attracts lower tariffs it did not give the 15 free SMSes a month anymore."
He also lamented that for subscribers to remain on some of the variants of the promo, they have to a pay weekly charge of N9.00 per SMS (on-net i.e. Zain to Zain).
But Zain has maintained that its promotion is a question of choice, saying it was giving "freedom" to its teeming subscribers by unfolding the competition.
Taking a general overview of the telecoms sector, NATCOMS lamented that Nigerian subscribers were still suffering in silence over a myriad of problems confronting the sector.
He therefore challenged the operators to provide quality service standards (QSS) of International Best Practices (IBP), some of which he listed as- good systems responsiveness, fast call set-up rate (five seconds), clear voice quality, minimal call failure rate (less than 0.0001 percent), billing accuracy and fast recharge success rate.

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