Unsolicited SMS/calls: Telecoms operators yet to comply with NCC directive —Investigation

With the 30 June deadline set by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for telecommunications operators to stop sending unsolicited text messages (SMSs) and calls to subscribers’ lines coming to pass last Friday, many Nigerians have expressed dismay that they are still being bombarded with unsolicited text messages and calls.

Investigation by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the operators were still flouting the order, this is because many subscribers that were interviewed over the weekend as well as on Monday expressed dismay that the situation still remains the same.

For instance, Mr Emmanuel Charles, a subscriber to about three operators in a chat with the Nigerian Tribune said it was expected that they the operators would stop the unwholesome practice immediately the new month begins. He said it was his hope that the NCC is taking note of this. Another subscriber, Felix Adewale said he expected the operators to have stopped the practice even before the deadline, but that he was still receiving messages as of Monday.

It was learnt that one of the operators has announced the short code (Do Not Disturb) for those who do want to receive unsolicited messages or calls on their lines, but some people feel this would not be enough for telephone users.

According to the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) through its president, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, it was totally wrong for the operators to expect subscribers to always send the code each time they received unsolicited messages, saying this is another way of circumventing the order.

He said: “We have told them on many occasions that it is not acceptable for subscribers to be sending short codes before messages to their phones will be stopped since they never requested for it in the first instance. We told them to use two windows to pass whatever messages they have to the subscribers. The two windows are when a subscriber asks for his balance or when subscribers load airtime on their lines, other than these, it means that they are not complying.

“Nigerians are expecting the NCC and the Minister of Communications to show Nigerians that they are in control by ensuring that the operators comply with this order in other to give the subscribers reprieve from this act of nuisance from the operators. We are watching and demanding action from the authorities concerned that they should not allow this directive to go the way of some other directives because this development has become a menace to so many Nigerians.”

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