National Communication Authority?s The Customer Protection Agency (CPA) of Ghana has given a thumbs-up to the recent National Communication Authority?s (NCA) decision to impose a GH?900,000 fine on five mobile network operators for providing telecom services to consumers below the set standards  for quality service.

The CPA advocates and protects consumer rights, and has subsequently urged the NCA to ensure that proceeds from the fine will be used to benefit the consumers who have for some time now endured poor services from network operators.

In a statement released and signed by the CEO of CPA, Kofi Kapito, the agency urged the NCA to widen their monitoring activities to cover other telecom services, besides voice and use fines from liable operators to enhance consumer rights education.

?Sometime last year, NCA imposed a fine on the telecom operators; but the monies the operators paid did not benefit subscribers to these poor services. The CPA would like the NCA to use the GH? 900,000 this time to educate and inform consumers in regard to responsibilities of the telecommunication industry, especially as to what they should expert from the telecom operators as their service providers,? it said.

Last week, the NCA slapped a GH?900,000 fine on five mobile phone network operators including MTN, Glo, Expresso, tiGO and Airtel for providing telecom services to consumers below the set benchmark for quality service.

The operators were charged and found liable on various counts including defaulting, call congestion, call set-up time and signalling congestion obligations in the Northern, Volta, Ashanti, Upper West and Upper East and Eastern Regions.

The CPA said its call for NCA-funded educational campaigns on consumer rights stems from the fact that the majority of telecom operators? customers are pre-paid consumers who are not made aware of their responsibilities and rights when they sign-up for telecom services on purchasing a SIM card.  

?The pre- paid customers purchase their ?SIM? cards from street vendors — and even when they acquire them from the offices or authorised agency of the telcos, consumers are not privy to the terms and conditions of service from the telcos.

?When consumers are not aware of the contractual terms between them and the telcos, the consumer is at a disadvantage.

?In view of this, the C.P.A would support and encourage the NCA to use the GH?900,000 collected on behalf of mobile phone users to enable them to be well-informed of their rights.?

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