Business News of Friday, 24 February 2017
A Public Interest Advocacy group is charging the National communication Authority (NCA) to be vigilante at ensuring stiffer, sterner and customer-friendly relationship between the telecommunication groups and users of their service products.
According to the Tamale based Civil Society Organisation, telecommunications in Ghana are deficient or ineffective in supplying sufficient and adequate information about their services and charges especially to their customers.
A press statement signed by the group’s Executive Director, A. Abdul-Rahaman, states that people especially innocent illiterate nationals suffer charges on needless services rendered to them
‘Customers are charged for every service or product they have subscribed to, however not all customers would have subscribed to most of the service products if they had adequate and sufficient information about the service products’
According to the group adequate information will assist customers make prudent economic decisions on which packages to subscribed to especially when communication is one area of life where people invariably and inevitably spend huge portion of their income.
BELOW IS THE FULL PRESS STATEMENT
Services and Charges of Telecommunication Companies In Ghana
The PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCAY GROUP is Civil Society Organisation based in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital of Ghana.
We play advocacy on universal matters bordering the general interest of the Ghanaian citizenry especially on economic and social life of the people and other significant subjects of life once they have a cast on their wellbeing with a humanist approach. As an advocacy team, we have taken notice of certain deficiencies in the services and charges of our Telecommunication Companies (Telecos) in Ghana and wish to make a statement that has the propensity of causing a positive shift to the benefit of the people of Ghana.
We have noticed that, almost all the Telecos in Ghana are deficient or ineffective in supplying sufficient and adequate information about their services and charges especially to their clients/customers. For information about their products and services, the feedback of our survey showed that, customers receive information through the text messaging system and other advertising forms.
Customers are charged for every service or product they have subscribed to, however not all customers would have subscribed to most of the service products if they had adequate and sufficient information about the service products.
It is also clear that, even some of the educated ones fall into the ilk of persons who unknowingly subscribe to service products they know nothing or little about and yet they pay periodic charges on subscription.
Aside, on periodic basis, we hear announcement about increases or even decreases in prices of petroleum products, increases in electricity and water tariffs, inflation and all other economic and social products but, we are yet to hear information about increases or decreases in the service charges of the Telecos.
We do not think that, over the years they have not increased or perhaps decreased charges on the services they are rendering to the good people of this country. We are yet to be convinced that, there has not been a positive or negative shift in their charges but Ghanaian are yet to know.
We reckon that, regulation of the business conduct of the Telecos is legitimately vested in the hands of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and so Ghanaians are interested in more than you (NCA) would have been doing now by ensuring stiffer, sterner and customer-friendly relationship between the Telecos and users of their service products and for that matter the Ghanaian people.
We appreciate that, Ghana is a democratic State and so in any attempt to serve the good interest of her citizens, we do not welcome a militant or deceptive approach in assigning solutions to the concerns raised. Considering the good works and professionalism demonstrated by the NCA so far, we do not have doubts in our minds that, they can do more to serving the best interest of Ghanaians.
The Ghanaian consumers of products of the Telecos are interested in self-explained information in adequate and sufficient form especially about the charges both intra-network and inter-network. This will help them to make prudent economic decisions especially that, communication is one area of life where people invariably and inevitably spend huge portion of their income on.
It is possible the Telecos have overly assumed that they have sent out enough information and for that matter education about their products but our survey can confirm that, the information has not aided the education of the customers about their existing and even potential products.
Perhaps, the Telecos will have to adopt a strategy that uses a broader medium with a greater listenership to educate the Ghanaian people more on their products.
We hereby call on all stakeholders to make possible, a meaningful and helpful education of Ghanaians on the products of all the Telecommunication Companies operating in Ghana.
We have specific information in varied and various forms about certain operational lapses on every Telecommunication Company operating in Ghana and we shall use appropriate formal channels to ensuring that they are fully addressed in the best interest of ALL GHANAIANS.
We appreciate the cooperation of all stakeholders as always.