MTN FLOUTED REGULATOR’S RULES IN STOPPED SYSTEM
MBABANE – Swazi MTN did not follow procedure when implementing the reversed ‘new’ data bundles pricing structure.
This came to light after the mobile company had convened a meeting with the Swaziland Communications Commission (SCCOM), where it was explained that the approval to implement the new data review had not been sought because it did not come with any price change.
However, according to the rules and regulations of SCCOM, a mobile company is expected to notify the regulator prior to implementation of new products and promotions.
SCCOM acting Chief Executive Officer Ozzie Thakatha revealed that Swazi MTN did not file a notice to change the structure of their data offerings.
“All operators are required to lodge and notify the regulator on all new products and promotions introduced in the market for assessment and approval,” Thakatha said.
He stated that since Swazi MTN did not notify the commission of their new data plan, SCCOM found out about the issue when it received complaints from consumers and from social media on the new developments in the service offered.
“Consumer protection and advocacy forms an integral part of SCCOM’s mandate.
“The regulator must ensure that consumers receive the full benefits of competitive electronic communications services and are protected from any exploitation or abuse,” said Thakatha.
Further, he said one of the primary functions of the regulator was to promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users of telecommunications services in respect to price.
Thakatha stated that consumers were encouraged to approach the office of the regulator to lodge complaints directly should the need arise.
“The complaints procedure and forms are available in the commission’s website. SCCOM will investigate the consumers’ complaints against a service provider if there is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facia case on possible breaches of any provisions under the Swaziland Communications Commission Act and Electronic Communications Act, 2013, regulations, guidelines, licence conditions and any other directive issued by the commission,” he stated.
When asked if SCCOM would impose any fines on Swazi MTN for any defiance or failure to comply with procedure, Thakatha could only say the service provider duly complied with the regulator’s directive to restore the status quo of service offering.
“The Swaziland Communications Commission Act, 2013 prescribes the process of handling complaints and ex officio investigations.