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Customers To Use Lesser Time At Care Centres As NCC Proposes New Guidelines For Telcos

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Users May Lose Inactive Phone Numbers As NCC Proposes New Guidelines For Telcos

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has published new guidelines for telecommunications companies (telcos) to improve customers’ experience.

The commission said the publication was in accordance with section 57 of the NCC act to allow stakeholders to make contributions to the policy.

The new NCC guidelines, titled, ‘Draft Quality of Service Business Rules’, stipulate the minimum quality and standards of service, associated measurements, and key performance indicators for measuring the quality of service.

In the document, NCC directed telcos to attend to customers within 30 minutes upon arrival at any of their service centres across the country.

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“For customer care centres, waiting time to be physically attended to by relevant staff at customer care centres is 30 minutes. The licensee shall provide means of measuring the waiting time, starting from the time of arrival at the premises,” the document reads.

The commission also said telcos must ensure that customers can speak to a customer care representative within five minutes when they call a telco’s helpline.

“Lines should not be more than three times; maximum number of rings before a call is answered by either an IVR machine or a live agent should not be more than five; and where a customer decides to speak to a live agent, the maximum duration allowable on the queue/IVR should be 5 minutes before answer,” NCC said.

“In exceptional cases where a live agent may be unavailable within five minutes to answer the call, a customer should be given an option to hang up to be called back within a maximum time of 30 minutes.

“Customer care lines that can be accessible through 21 free access numbers and if 1 number then it should accommodate multiple other network calls at the same time.”

The commission said “subscribers may lose their numbers within a year if they do not use it”.

“A subscriber line may be deactivated if it has not been used, within six months, for a Revenue Generating Event (RGE), and If the situation persists for another six months the subscriber may lose their number, except for a network-related fault inhibiting an RGE.”

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“Deduction of line rental charge is regarded by RGE.

To recover their lines, the commission said subscribers must provide “proof of good reason for absence is at liberty to request for line parking.”

On credit alert while on call, telcos are expected to send “a single short-beep to the call initiator 2 minutes, and at 30 seconds to termination of the ongoing call”.

It added that “low credit announcement to be played while the call is being originated in a situation where the call cannot last up to 30 secs.”

Meanwhile, NCC did not state when guidelines would take effect.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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