GSM telephone users in Bauchi on Thursday accused service providers of disrupting their sleep with unsolicited text messages at odd hours of the night.
Taking turns to narrate their experiences during a consumer outreach forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the customers described as the “height of inconsideration” the practice of sending messages at such odd hours of the night, which alert often broke sound sleeps.
One of the customers. ,Malam Nasiru Awalu, complained that most service providers had formed the habits of sending text messages when consumers were already in bed.
According to him, the alert sound of such massages constitute nuisance because it breaks their sleep and night devotions.
On her part, Mrs Tabita Samuel, noted that most of the messages were irrelevant and at times carried advertisements that were not explicit and therefore, useless.
“I could recall in.June this year at about 2.00am, a message came in with an ear-pricking alert, making me and my four children that were sound asleep, to jumped out of bed.
“The message was telling me to subscribe to a certain service that was not relevant to me; I did not subscribe but to my greatest surprise, the following morning, my account was debited.
“I want to call on the providers to desist from such act and respect the rights of consumers and to also stop illegal debiting from accounts of subscribers,” she said.
Others consumers also complained of poor services and arbitrary deduction of money by the providers for services not rendered.
A customer, Mallam Suleiman Musa, complained that one several occasions, he dialed numbers without reaching his target due to network problem, yet his account was deducted.
“Sometimes I will get the person I want to talk to but we cannot communicate due to poor service but still, money is deducted from my account.
“At times, I will wake up in the morning and discover that my balance of N120 loaded the previous night, had been taken away, even if I made no calls.
“When you go to the office of the service providers and complain, the staff on ground will tell you that there is nothing they can do about your case,” he grumbled.
Another customer, Hajiya Lami Sale, narrated the same experience, saying that in addition to poor service delivery and illegal deductions, the providers enforced unsolicited products on consumers.
She said sometimes, accounts were deducted while the customer was trying to open the unsolicited message.
“I am not literate and can neither browse nor send text messages but my account is being debited almost on daily bases for such services by the providers.
“I want NCC to address such brazen cheating because even if you go and complain, the providers will not address the problem,” she said.
In their separate responses, the representatives of MTN, GLO, ETISALAT and AIRTEL, attributed some of the problems to technical fault and pleaded with customers to be patient
Alhaji Sani Garba of ETISALAT and Mallam Abubkar Charanchi of MTN assured that the providers would do their best to serve the consumers.
They urged consumers to always contact their offices and outlets in Bauchi for such complaints and promised to improve on their services. NAN)