Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) on Friday called upon members of the public to be vigilant and report Telecommunication companies and Mobile Phones dealers, who violate consumers’ rights for legal action.
The call was made during marking of World Consumers Day, which took place at Communications House, in Kampala.
“It’s a fundamental human right for a consumer to have access to basic communication services at reasonable prices. Government and subsequently UCC have a responsibility to ensure that services are made available to all persons, by adopting the right policies and that licenses issued ensure necessary roll out of services to all underserved areas and populations”, said UCC Consumer Affairs Manager Pamela Ankunda.
She advised telecom services consumers to report cases, where their Airtime or Data bundles are stolen under conditions not specified in their contractual agreements with the service providers.
“This also applies to mobile phone dealers. Consumers should ensure the mobile phone handsets sold to them, are durable and meet standards specified by Uganda Bureau of Standards (UNBS)”, she said.
She said a telecom service consumer has a right to full pre-contractual information that is clear (understandable) and helpful. “Such information should include; a specification of what is and is not included in the price quoted, as well as a clear statement on the quality of service to be provided”, she added.
Isaac Balinakiyingi, the Executive Secretary, Uganda Consumer Protection, said majority Ugandan don’t know their consumer rights and as such, fall victims of fraudulent telecom dealers, who cheat on their hard earned money.
“We intend to carry out consumer awareness campaigns, starting with Masaka District, to ensure the public is sensitised fully on their consumer rights”, he said.
He said Telecom companies, whose networks are ON and OFF or weak, jeopardise consumers’ rights to communication.
“Our organization is working hand in hand with UNBS and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), to ensure telecom companies with poor services are exposed and shamed”, he added.