Voicemail Charges: Pantami Orders Network Providers To Deactivate Voicemail Charges
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Pantami Isa has ordered Mobile Network Operators to deactivate the automatic voicemail charges.
This is coming on the heel of the latest trend of financial exploitation by MNOs in the country through the activation of the voicemail services on their platforms.
According to a press statement signed by the spokesperson to Dr. Pantami, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, on the ministry website commtech.gov.ng, the minister frowned at the ingenious method deployed by the network providers to defraud Nigerians.
Dr. Pantami in the statement issued a broad policy directive to the sector regulator, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic Voicemail are addressed on all existing phone lines and the subscribers, given the option to accessing the service via an activation code.
The statement reads; “The attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has been drawn to the latest trend of financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country,
through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms.
“Based on recent reports reaching the office, the practice has gained momentum in recent times.
“The Voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default.
“The Honourable Minister finds it worrisome and totally unacceptable, that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for service they are compelled to use by default.
“Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria.
“Coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks.
Also , the statement stressed that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) is the country has exposed their antics.
“It is apparent that the recent clampdown on the exploitative activities of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country has beamed the searchlight on the sector properly.
“Some unpatriotic elements in the system are devising subtle, ingenious methods of defrauding Nigerians.
“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the current leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim, will neither overlook any acts, regardless of how subtle, that undermine the Anti Corruption Crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR nor condone any attempts to defraud Nigerians and indeed all subscribers.
“In the light of this, Dr. Pantami has issued a broad policy directive to the sector regulator, Nigeria Communication Commissions (NCC), to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines and the subscribers given the option to accessing the service via an activation code.
It also added that the collective responsibility is to ensure that the rights of coinsumers are protected.
While providing a conducive business environment for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), in line with global best practice.