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The Problem of Unsolicited Messages in Nigeria

You have been waiting for that important call or message all this while. Then your phone beeps all of a sudden and your heart skips a beat. You pick the phone and, sadly, realize it’s just another one of those unsolicited messages or calls from the mobile networks in Nigeria. Such are the ‘heartbreaks’ and disappointments you are made to live with on virtually daily basis by these mobile operators.

Unsolicited Intrusion and Hassles

Unsolicited messages and calls are phenomena that I am certain many Nigerians have become accustomed to, at least based on my own experience. Hardly will a day pass by without receiving at least three unsolicited calls/SMSes. These messages or calls often offer nothing exciting. The most annoying thing of all is that you receive calls and messages offering the exact, same service every time. Let us assume there’s nothing wrong in receiving promotional offers from these networks. But does this mean you have to be subjected to messages of the same offers over and again? I don’t think so. As it would happen, I’m not the only one dissatisfied about the situation of thing, going by this Technology Times piece.

Unsolicited messages in nigeria

More than twice, I have been charged by two of these Nigerian mobile networks for services usually offered through these unsolicited messages and calls. I was charged for short code services which I did not subscribe for. As a matter of fact, I usually delete short code messages as they are delivered in my inbox because majority offer services that I don’t find exciting. So I was surprised when I was charged for ‘subscribing’ to these services. After I complained to the network operators, my airtime credit was never restored, but one operator compensated me with free minutes.

Do not disturb

I thought complaining to these spamming networks would solve the problem, but I was wrong. I did contact the two most-guilty of these mobile operators and I got the promise that my line would be deactivated from receiving the unsolicited messages. But I tell you, it’s been about a week already and I’m not sure if there has been any change.

Toothless Regulator

If you ask me, I will tell you that I’m not sure the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is taking serious steps about protecting mobile line users in the country from these unsolicited messages and calls. While the NCC agrees that unsolicited messages violate mobile subscribers’ privacy, it has yet to take decisive action about dealing with it as far as I’m concerned. It is saddening that you virtually can do nothing to these mobile network operators if you are not pleased with their practices – you either endure them or forget about using a mobile connection in Nigeria. The NCC might tell subscribers that complaints can be forwarded to it, but the protocols involved are daunting and time-consuming. I don’t even believe any action would be taken eventually.

So I wonder who will save Nigerian subscribers from these unethical mobile operators if the regulators won’t.

Updated: March 10, 2015 — 12:56 PM © 2015 Frontier Theme