CPC probes MultiChoice for alleged subscriber rights abuse

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The Consumer Protection Council says it has commenced investigation into the operations of MultiChoice Nigeria through its Digital Satellite Television offering based on complaints of alleged consumer rights violations.

The CPC, in a notice of commencement of investigation signed by its Director-General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, and served on MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, said that it had been inundated with a barrage of complaints by consumers, who alleged wide-range abuse of their rights.

The regulatory agency asserted that despite its earlier interventions in form of meetings, telephone and written correspondences with the company to resolve the issues and developed quality standards to safeguard the interest of consumers, complaints had been pouring in unabated against the company.

The CPC stated in the notice of investigation, “These complaints in effect allege that the DStv service does not conform with international best practice and is specifically designed to exploit Nigerian consumers who have suffered loss by not being able to fully enjoy or receive the benefit or actualise the full purpose for which they purchased or subscribed to the service.

“The complaints include poor quality of service such as incessant disruption of service without compensation, while subscription is current; wrongful abrupt disconnection of service during subsisting subscriptions; monthly subscriptions lasting less than 30 days; and poor redress mechanism and customer service.”

Others, according to the CPC, are advertisements on customer care lines at the expense of consumers; poor implementation of decoder swap policy; and effecting price increase for subscriptions despite payment before due date of increase.

The council said its investigation would involve receiving relevant evidences and documents from complainants, MultiChoice, satellite broadcast experts and witnesses as well as relevant sector regulators.

The company, according to the council, is expected to prepare a written response on the allegations contained in the notice of investigation as well as provide other relevant documents and information that may be necessary.

Atoki said the council’s action was in line with the focus and commitment of the Federal Government to engage in sectoral interventions to address the myriad of problems facing Nigerian consumers with a view to getting a saner market-place in the country.
Source: Punch.ng.com 22 June 2015