Cpc Chides Dstv Over Consumers’ Rights, Orders Compensation And Toll-free Lines

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, February 21, (THEWILL) – The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has ordered MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, operators of Digital Satellite Broadcast Television (DStv), to compensate consumers within 90 days and introduce toll-free lines to them

According to Mrs. Dupe Atoki, Director General, CPC, the decision was reached following confirmation of allegations of violations of consumer rights based on investigations it conducted.

The Council also directed DStv to release its free-to-air channels, even when subscription expires, in compensation of consumers across board for loss of viewing time and reasonable equitable spread of popular sports channels, among others.

“During the course of our investigations, the Council observed that the company's billing system, whereby billing is not contemporaneous with the provision of service which was not in the best interest of consumers and therefore ordered MultiChoice to install a billing system that ensures billing starts with the provision of service,” she said.

The company was ordered to within 180 days adopt a “technology that supports suspension of service when subscribers are otherwise unable to enjoy their service on account of being away for a limited period of time”, provided that such a request is done between 7 to 14 days and not more than twice in a year with a 72-hour notice to MultiChoice.

MultiChoice was also directed to formulate, within 90 days, a written compensation policy which should outline the procedure for compensating subscribers for injury they suffer on account of MultiChoice's conduct and take into consideration not just viewing time lost, but inconveniences suffered by subscribers and to develop a Customer Care Manual which shall contain mechanisms to address customer complaints in an accurate, friendly, timely, efficient, courteous and honest manner.

To this end, CPC directed MultiChoice to not only maintain local toll-free telephone access lines for its call centres, but should also ensure that the call centres operate for longer hours during public holidays and weekends.

CPC also ordered the firm to within 90 days ensure “a reasonably equitable spread of popular sports and other channels hitherto concentrated in its premium bouquet over all available bouquets,” adding that it shall for 18 months, from the date of the orders, subject its processes to the Council's inspection to ensure compliance with the directives contained in the orders.

Story by David Oputah