The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the popularity of the Toll-Free line recorded a tremendous growth having resolved over 18,000 complaints from 40 million active subscribers in one year.

The NCC rolled out the 622 Toll-Free line, a medium through which subscribers’ complaints are channelled to the industry regulator over issues emanating from the poor quality of services and any form of customer dissatisfaction.

“Today, since the launch of our Year of Telecoms Consumer campaign last February and the popularisation of the NCC toll-free line of 622, we have recorded astronomical growth in the amount of complaints we received from subscribers daily,” Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano, disclosed this at the fourth quarter Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) open forum held in Lagos.

“Today, I can tell you the number of consumer complaints that what we have received in the last one year has risen to 18,000 and, as NCC, we are happy that we have provided an alternative complaint resolution channel for Nigerians through the 622 toll-free line,” he said.

Commenting on the theme of the forum: ‘Telecoms Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress Mechanism’ at the Lagos ICAF forum, Maikano said The purpose of all ICAF programmes and projects was to ensure the protection of the rights, privileges, and interests of telecoms consumers, including that of the physically-challenged groups.

At the forum, Professor Felicia Monye Chairman, Consumer Awareness Organisations (CAO), emphasized on the need for improved sensitization and awareness, both on the part of the operating companies and the telecoms regulator.

“What we need at this juncture is for us to ensure that subscribers are more aware and educated about all these redress mechanisms when they are having an unsatisfactory resolution of their complaints by the telecoms. If there is no education, there is no way a subscriber will know how to resolve any issue through alternative means.” She said.

Felicia advised NCC to continuously monitor telecoms networks for compliance regarding how they address and handle consumer complaints.

“Only through this can we instil discipline and best practices in the way operators’ agents attend to their customers, all to protect telecoms subscribers,” she said.