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Attend subscribers in 30 minutes, NCC orders Telcos

The Nigerian Communications Commission is set to mandate telecommunication firms to attend to their customers within 30 minutes of arriving at any customer care center in the country.

This is based on a new document titled, ‘Draft Quality of Service Business Rules,’ on the commission’s website.

According to it, the business rules stipulate the minimum quality and standards of service, associated measurements, and key performance indicators for measuring quality of service.

In the customer care section of the document, the telecoms regulator stated that a subscriber’s waiting time to be physically attended to by relevant staff at customer care centres must not exceed 30 minutes, as against what obtains today where customers can be kept for hours before being attended to.

The NCC said, “Waiting time to be physically attended to by relevant staff at customer care centers ≤ 30 minutes. The Licensee shall provide means of measuring the waiting time, starting from time of arrival at the premises.”

The commission is also moving to ensure that subscribers can speak to a customer care representative within five minutes when they call a telco’s helpline.

It stated, “Where a customer decides to speak to a live agent, the maximum duration allowable on the queue/IVR should be 5 minutes before answer

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.”

According to the NCC, subscribers may lose their numbers within a year if they do not use it. It stated that a subscriber line may be deactivated if it has not been used, within six months, for a Revenue Generating Event, and If the situation persists for another six months the subscriber may lose their number, except for a network-related fault inhibiting an RGE.

It added, “Monies left in account on deactivation can be claimed by subscribers once proof of ownership can be established at any given time within 1 year (less any fee paid by the operator for the number within the 1-year of non-RGE).”

It further noted that a subscriber with proof of good reason for absence is at liberty to request for line parking.

Commenting on the move to reduce waiting time in customer care centers, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, “This is a fantastic development. The NCC has been doing well in terms of improving customer experience.

“This is a good development for the consumers unlike before when people waited for hours (in the process burning man hours) and did not get attended to. It will save consumer waiting time at the customer experience center of the telcos. We are happy about this.”

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