The Director of Open Government Initiative (OGI) Madam Khadija Sesay on Monday 6th August 2012 summoned leading GSM operators in the country to a meeting. According to Madam Sesay, her institution received various complaints from members of the public about the poor quality of service rendered by mobile companies which prompted her to invite the operators to respond to the criticisms.
Speaking during the OGI talk show at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), she reiterated that mobile companies have a responsibility to offer quality service to subscribers. She maintained that despite the huge monies collected from customers, it appears the apparent weakness in the regulatory framework is giving a field day for GSM operators to exploit the unsuspecting public. “There is nothing more frustrating than when you intend to make an important call only to be told that the number you are dialing is switched off when in actual fact the number you are dialing is on.” Madam Sesay stated.
She pointed out that the internet service offered by Airtel is poor because of the delay in processing the information required. She also used the forum to warned the mobile companies not to invade the privacy of subscribers by putting all sort of music without their consent.
However the GSM companies stop short of commenting about the $45.000 imposed by the regulatory body National Telecommunications Company (NaTCOM) when asked by the OGI Director.
Responding the Corporate Affairs Manager Africell, Mr. Joe Abass Bangura said they have established a mechanism to take complaints from subscribers. He noted that complaints received from customers are collated and analyzed on a daily basis for appropriate action. Mr. Bangura said Sierra Leone has the cheapest tariff in West Africa, whilst arguing that Africell is the only company that is offering free service on a weekly basis.
Airtel’s Legal Affairs Officer, Mr. Gerald Cole, said his position is to give opinion and advice on the legal dynamics of communication in Sierra Leone. He pointed out that there is bound to be problems because of the technological device. He however said that they are trying their best to respond to problems from customers.
The Network Quality Manager of Comium, Dr Samba Sesay said they have established over 53 installation sites in the country and are gradually expanding in Kamakwei and Kono.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.