The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has empowered subscribers to choose the text messages they receive from telcos through its directive on Do Not Disturb (DND) code.
Its Deputy Director, Consumers Affair, Femi Atoyebi, who responded to customers’complaints at the 20th Consumer Town Hall Meeting organised by the regulator in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos at the weekend, said the meeting was to educate subscribers about their right and privileges.
Atoyebi said the DND code is all about stopping unwanted text messages, saying consumers are at liberty to subscriber to service or products, adding that there is also the liberty to unsubscribe.
He said: “Now if you don’t want to be disturbed, you send STOP to 2442. But, we need to stress the fact that it is not all messages that are bad, some are quite educative, some give information about the weather, traffic, health, sport, among others.
There is what we call full DND, that is don’t even bother me and there is partial DND that is on issue of education send message to me, but on music, I don’t want.
That is why the option of 2442 has been provided and the particular message you don’t want will stop coming. So, if you ban all text messages from coming in, you will not know when the message that will be beneficial to you will come. But as I have said, consumers are at liberty to choose what they want.”
Subscribers who spoke earlier accused the telcos of inundating them with unsolicited text messages. They also complained about drop calls, illegal airtime deductions, among others.
An MTN subscriber, Ajayi Omotayo, lamented that he got messages daily from his telco. He said: Every day, I get this message: “MTN Gadget Care.’ I have called 180, they asked me to press some buttons, which I have done, but the message keeps coming. The sad thing is that they deduct my money. Please, tell them to remove it. I don’t want anything of such.”
A Glo subscriber, who introduced himself as Andrew, lamented that he still gets messages he never wanted from his telco.
Etisalat was not spared of criticisms either. Alhaji SikiruAlamu, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “The network has encouraged the menace. I used to get messages I don’t want, even very early in the morning. For example, a particular message with 361 as Code showing: Hello your VideoStore subscription has been renewed. Service costs N20/day. To download videos click http://videostore.ng. To unsubscribe, text STOP to 6363. I sent STOP several times, but the message kept coming. I don’t know what to do again.”
A female Airtel customer, Joy lamented that she was always inundated with messages she never wanted.
“Each time the message is sent, my credit is also deducted; they will say caller ring back tunes- N50 is removed my airtime. This is unjust because I never subscribed to any caller ring back tune.”