VAS operators’ auto-renewal services come under scrutiny

[FILE PHOTO] Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta. PHOTO: YouTube

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to thoroughly scrutinise the auto-renewal products of Value Added Services (VAS) rendered on the platform of telecom operators in the country.
   
NCC is currently angry following several complaints by subscribers that the VAS operators in connection with mobile network operators (MNOs) are using the avenue to swindle users.
  
As such, the telecoms regulator has called for the suspension of auto renewal services till further notice.
  
Although VAS providers, under the aegis of Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN), said shutting auto-renewal service was not the solution, they requested the commission to give them some time for the complete overhaul of the system and sought the support of telecoms companies.
  
The commission however noted that consumers suffers the brunt of unsolicited services and agreed on the adoption of a unified VAS code for proper monitoring and sanction of erring service providers.
  
“Our concern is for the consumers. We need to flush out the bad service providers to allow the right people use and enjoy the system,” the commission added.
  
Speaking during the 1st yearly Nigeria Value Added Service (VAS) forum in Lagos, the commission tasked stakeholders on strategic partnership to drive the development and proliferation of applications that will meet the needs of consumers.
  
“We have issues where consumers are ripped off by forcefully subscribing to services that they did not willingly subscribe and are also renewed on such services which they do not opt in.
  
“What we are saying is that consumers must decide on what service to go on and at what time they want to opt out of the services. This is what we are trying to impose,” the commission stressed.
   
Executive Commissioner Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), Maska Ubale, noted that the commission has allocated short codes to about two hundred and thirty-three (233) VAS licenses for the provision of different 156 services and this has immensely enhanced service delivery in the Nigerian telecom industry.

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