UCC petitioned over Telecom Charges

Because of the increasing number of complaints about the dropped calls among other issues raised by the Telecommunication clients, the Uganda Communication Commission has been asked to establish an independent consumer protection unit within the commission for timely response to claims

The call is part of the recommendations in a petition filed by the Unwanted Witness-Uganda  a civil society organization following registration of a number of complaints pertaining the quality of telecommunication services offered by the different Telecom companies.

Unwanted Witness-Uganda is a non-government organization that advocates for safe and accessible online platforms for the realization of human rights and good governance in Uganda.

The Organization wants the Uganda communications commission to cause an urgent investigation into widespread swindling of Ugandans’ hard earned cash by the telecom companies through dropped calls, unsolicited messages and caller tunes among others.

The Communication Regulatory body is also asked to privately investigate these claims before formerly referring them to telecom companies.

The petition particularly mentions MTN Uganda and Africell as companies whose subscribers have registered the highest complaints.

Over the years, many Ugandans have fallen victim to this telecom scam without any intervention from the regulator although it is legally mandated to oversee operations of service providers as well as regulating communication services in the country.

Now the Executive Officer Unwanted Witness –Uganda Wokulira Ssebaggala says technology for development is embedded in government’s vision 2040 and this can only be realized if all obstacles to technological utilization by the citizens are addressed by different players

He revealed that Unwanted Witness-Uganda has recorded several complaints from different telecom subscribers whose service providers have either cheated them via voice calls or mobile data.

Ssebaggala adds that the practice does not only undermine the country’s technology development but also violates citizens’ consumer Rights as enshrined in the UN Guidelines for consumer protection.

It is upon this background that the activists also challenge the UCC to evoke section 1 (K) of the communications Act 2013 to check quality of service offered by telecom companies to the public.