Retailers of mobile phone recharge cards have stated that they will increase the prices of the cards by 10 percent from Monday, February 8, 2016.
The retailers, who were represented by Mobile Money Merchants and Phone Sellers Association of Ghana (MMOMAG), accused the telecommunications companies of cheating them.
Edward Asafo-Adjei, spokesperson for the retailers, said they were forced to effect the 10 percent increment because while fuel price hikes, transport fares and new taxes were taking a toll on their services, the telcos have continuously reduced their commissions on recharge cards.
However, some telcos – MTN, Tigo and Airtel – have said that the prices of their recharge cards have not been increased and urged customers not to buy recharge cards at prices higher than those inscribed on the cards.
Mr. Asafo-Adjei said Airtel announced a 20 percent reduction in its commissions in January, this year, adding that Tigo recently announced a reduction in its commissions.
The retailers said a particular telco was helping them but the others were just fleecing them.
“Expresso, he said, in particular treats retailers like DKM Company.”
He said retailers had invested millions of cedis in the purchase of Expresso products and now their investment have gone stale because “we don’t even know if the company still exists after their rebranding – people are simply not buying Expresso products because their network does not seem to be working.”
Government is said to have withdrew the 20 percent import tax on mobile handsets and accessories.
Minister of Finance Seth Terkper made the pledge in the 2015 budget but Principal Economic Officer at the Ministry of Finance, Benjamin Ayesu Kwafo said that government only reduced the tax from 20 percent to 10 percent and has not cancelled taxing phones and accessories completely.
By Samuel Boadi