The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday warned mobile telephone operators to desist from bombarding subscribers with unsolicited text messages, saying that it was set to protect the rights of subscribers.
The commission maintained that it would ‘protect subscribers from the nuisance and irritations of unsolicited text messages and calls from mobile network operators’.
Its Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, noted in a statement, that in spite of earlier warnings to telecommunication service providers to activate their Do-Not-Disturb facility which gives subscribers the freedom to choose the messages they receive, the Commission is still inundated with complaints by subscribers of continuing text harassment by operators.
Said the statement: “The Direction issued to industry operators to activate the 2442 Do Not Disturb Short Code took effect from July 1, 2016.”
Ojobo explained that the Direction mandates the operators to take immediate action which will allow the subscribers to take informed, but independent decisions on what messages to receive from the networks.
He observed that industry compliance doesn’t seem to match the seriousness of the Direction thus, compelling the Commission to issue a final warning to the operators.
According to him, the Direction takes into cognizance the broad range of services, which include: Banking/Insurance/Financial products, Real estate, Education, Health, Consumer Goods and Automobiles, Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT, Tourism and /Leisure, Sports, Religion (Christianity, Islam, others), and directed the operators to give the necessary instructions and clarifications that will enable subscribers subscribe to a particular service/services/none at all.
Said Ojobo: “In fact, a Full DND which is SMS ‘STOP” to 2442 does not allow the subscriber to receive any unsolicited messages from the operators at all.
“Below are the various options:
“SMS 1” for receiving SMS relating to Banking/Insurance/ Financial Products to 2442
“SMS 2” for receiving SMS relating to Real estate to 2442
SMS 3” for receiving SMS relating to Education to 2442
“SMS 4” for receiving SMS relating to Health to 2442
“SMS 5” for receiving SMS relating to Consumer Goods and Automobiles, to 2442
“SMS 6” for receiving SMS relating to Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT, to 2442
“SMS 7” for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and Leisure to 2442
“SMS 8” for receiving SMS relating to Sports to 2442
“SMS 9” for receiving SMS relating to Religion to 2442
Ojobo called on the service providers to immediately comply with the Direction as further complaints from the subscribers would be taken as serious infractions to a major regulatory intervention by the Commission