Wednesday, March 27,2019
hundred of subscribers of airtime and data with the Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) have called on the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other regulatory agencies in Nigeria to probe what they described as ‘illicit activities of MTN’ over data theft and pilfering of airtime paid for by customers. The call was made, following a story published by Daily Times on Monday, in which many subscribers accused MTN of fraudulent depletion of the data they subscribed and paid for by the mobile service provider. Mr. Linus Iwunor spoke to Daily Times Monday after reading the story commended the paper for conveying the suffering of Nigerians in the hands of MTN through the publication, adding however that those concerned should take deliberate steps to bring the mobile service provider to book. “I want to thank you in Daily Times for listening to Nigerians and conveying their feelings to the public. But what we demand in addition is that the government, NCC, EFCC and other regulatory agencies take up the matter. They should do audit of what MTN is doing to Nigerians. “If you subscribe to data that is supposed to last for one month, it will get finished before two days. If you subscribe again, the same thing would happen; and when you ask their customer service, they tell you that it is how you are using your data as if you are a fool. “If you interview 100 MTN subscribers, 99 of them will tell you the same thing. I think MTN is the worst network in Nigeria because of their tendency to exploit subscribers. I don’t think there is any other country than Nigeria where this kind of thing can be happening and nobody is ready to address it. Another caller, Johnson Ononauju from Lagos Island said government should respond to the complaints of its citizens and ensure that service providers stop cheating on Nigerians. “This is a serious matter. MTN does not give service according to what you paid for. The way MTN data burns out, is faster than the speed of light. Their network most times is sluggish yet your data gets finished before you start to use it; and that is exploitation. The authorities should probe the network and others that are in the habit of defrauding the citizens,” he said. It would be recalled that Daily Times on Monday published a story titled ‘Nigerians Bemoan High MTN Data Rates, Charges,’ in which the paper reported that many MTN network subscribers have expressed concern over the depletion of their data, in addition to the rising costs of the data bundle. The report stated that customers who expressed their woes during an interview with the Daily Times said that the depletion is causing a lot of damages to their work and businesses, leading some to even dump the network for other alternatives. It named some of the subscribers to include Mrs. Henrieta Adakole, a blogger, who said that she was surprised that a 2-gigabyte data bundle recharge which normally lasted for a month was used up within two days. “I only use the data for working. I normally open a portal to copy a document, shut it off and open again to post, only to get an alert within two days that the data had finished. “This has happened on two occasions and the only solution left was to drop the network, since I am losing time and money,’’ the report quoted her as saying. “Another subscriber Mike Akwarandu from Lugbe, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory said; “the solution can only be to stop patronizing them. They have done this before and people moved to other networks. They seem to forget so soon that their monopoly was broken because of their greed. GLO came with per second billing. The last time they did this I bought an Airtel SIM card, now this. “The only challenge is that people that use them for browsing might find it difficult to use other networks because of inconveniences associated with alternatives. They are probably doing this to get back at government for the fine they are currently paying. What they fail to realise is that it’s the masses that suffer. The NCC cannot say they are not aware of this. MTN is getting too comfortable, we should continue to battle with them till they stop taking us for granted,” he stated. According to the Monday report, a web designer, Mr Emeka Nwalata said that the recent development in MTN data service was not good enough. He alleged that it was as though the network was using subscribers’ subscription to pay off the debt it owes the banks. “I was really enjoying MTN services when they came up, but recently, since its debt issue, the network has been misbehaving, it is no longer reliable,’’ he said. Biola Fagbemi another MTN data subscriber said that he was having the best data experience with MTN until recently when the services became unappealing. He called on MTN to revisit the issue before it gets out of hand, adding that its services were nothing to write home about now. Another web developer, Mr Leo Osundo, said that MTN was really fast when he started using it and suddenly it started being slow. “I had to configure three apps to work on the data, but still, it keeps getting worse,’’ he said.