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FCCPC orders MultiChoice Nigeria to introduce additional features

by Business News Report

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has ordered MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN), to introduce an additional feature that allows subscribers to increase the number of times they could suspend their subscription. The Order  was signed by its Director, Legal Service, Mr Tam Tamumokonbia, and made available to newsmen in Lagos. The Commission said it embarked on an investigation following complaints from subscribers alleging abuse of dominant position by MCN, owners of DSTV and GOTV. It said it had prepared and delivered a detailed Investigative report to MCN, showing its findings with respect to the investigation.

According to FCCPC, such features should include a price lock option that allows subscribers to maintain the same subscription fee for a minimum period of one year. It said that such contractual agreement must clearly specify the applicable terms and conditions. The Commission ordered MultiChoice to submit back to her, a draft of the agreement within seven days of the receipt of the order. “MultiChoice must ensure better value for money and proposition for annual prepayment of subscription, including the ability to suspend subscription at least once every quarter of the year. It must clearly communicate to each subscriber, all channels available within their selected bouquet option. The group should also provide toll-free customer service lines which are operational 24 hours daily through which consumers may receive support with respect to the services offered when necessary.

“The lines must be toll-free across networks, not only with same network as it is currently the case. It must, within the time stipulated in the Commission’s Order of February 4, 2022, provide the Commission with a work plan and timeline for the purpose of articulating and addressing where possible and applicable, any constraints with respect to complying with, and operationalising this specific Order. It must also advertise the existing toll-free customer service lines more frequently and more widely on channels available and under the control of MultiChoice on the DSTV and GOTV platforms. Such advertisement must run on each channel
at least daily.

“It should also increase the number of times all subscribers may suspend their subscription up to at least four times annually. We shall also expect the group to submit to the Commission a compliance report demonstrating full compliance with the orders within the time stipulated in the Commission’s Order of Feb. 4, 2022.” The commission warned that a violation of its Order would attract a fine of N5 million under the FCCPC Administrative Penalties Regulations, 2020. (NAN)

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