UCC responds to consumer complaints on data depletion

UCC responds to consumer complaints on data depletion
Smartphone user

Nyombi was addressing the growing concerns among consumers regarding data usage discrepancies.

The Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Thembo Nyombi, has acknowledged the frustration expressed by users who report instances where data appears to vanish or deplete faster than normal.

Nyombi was addressing the growing concerns among consumers regarding data usage discrepancies.

"In my capacity at UCC, I acknowledge the multiple complaints regarding data usage specifically issues where data seems to vanish or deplete faster than anticipated," stated Nyombi.

Nyombi emphasised that consumer protection falls within the regulatory mandates of the UCC, highlighting the importance of resolving these issues.

However, he noted that due to the sensitivities involved, a formal process must be followed to conclusively address these disparities.

"Consumer protection is indeed one of UCC's regulatory mandates, and these issues require resolution. However, given the sensitivities involved, a formal process must be followed to address these disparities conclusively," Nyombi reiterated.

To address such concerns, Nyombi outlined steps for consumers to take action:

"If you encounter discrepancies with your data usage, the first step is to contact your telecom provider directly and file a formal complaint," Nyombi advised.

"As part of your complaint, you can request a comprehensive data usage audit for the period," Nyombi continued. "This audit provides a clear record of your data consumption, helping to identify any inconsistencies or errors."

Nyombi emphasised the importance of consumers initiating the data usage audit for their mobile numbers to ensure their data privacy is protected.

"As a consumer, it is essential to know that you must initiate the data usage audit regarding your mobile number. Doing so gives permission for your data usage to be examined while safeguarding your data privacy," Nyombi emphasized.

"This step ensures that your data usage is scrutinized only with your consent and does not infringe upon your right to privacy in how you choose to use your data,"he added.

For consumers unsatisfied with the outcome, Nyombi provided avenues for further assistance.

In February this year, singer Moses Ssali alias Bebe Cool threatened to sue Airtel Uganda, a telecommunication company, following the depletion of 22GB of data bundle from his mobile phone number in a short span of time without him using the data.

"On January 16, at around 9.56pm, I entered into a prepaid contract with your company to purchase 22GB of monthly data at Shs50,000 (Shs2,000). It is your operational policy that mobile data bundle depletion depends on a customer's internet usage based on the volumes of the megabyte file browsed," said the singer via his lawyers.

The demand notice went on to reveal that he opened his TikTok app at 22:00 hours for only 5 minutes and then plugged his phone to charge as he waited to participate in a Zoom meeting.

During this charging period, by 12:30am, without using the phone, he received an alert that he had only 5694 MBs remaining, of which 17 GB of data had been depleted.

Another singer, Priscilla Zawedde alias Azawi, also recently put pressure on Airtel on the same matter.

She revealed how 22GB of data that she had purchased had elapsed within two days without her streaming anything.

Many Ugandans, including top celebrities, have complained against the company after failing to receive proper explanations on how their GBs of data got depleted in a matter of hours.

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