MTC Suspends Data Campaign

AFTER weeks of complaints by customers, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) has discontinued its ‘N$2 for 10MB per Day’ campaign.

MTC chief of human capital amp corporate affairs, Tim Ekandjo yesterday said ending the promotion does not mean the company admits guilt.

He also said MTC has not given up on its approach, but had simply put it aside for now.

Ekandjo said despite the numerous complaints from customers, “the data promotion was introduced in the best interest of customers considering that the evolution of smart phones has brought about high demands for data usage”.

He justified this by indicating that MTC has not made any profit, but that it made N$25 000 less per day as a result of the campaign. The whole campaign brought in N$2,5 million since its inception on 12 December 2014 until last night.

“It’s not billions as people thought. It’s not our philosophy to make quick money out of our customers. We take a long-term view in doing business with our customers,” Ekandjo said.

He said although MTC has 250 000 data subscribers, the deduction only affected more than 70 000.

As from today, he said, customers will be charged 90 cents per MB and 50 cents per megabyte if it is on Aweh validity.

He could not, however, explain why MTC would have continued with a product that was not generating profit, reasserting that “it was all for the good of the customers”.

Ekandjo said MTC smartphone users have slightly increased from 681 000 to 723 000 since September 2013 to September 2014.

“We are not saying the increases are bad and we are not surprised,” he said, adding that a sustainable model is required for customers to avoid nasty surprises.

In a statement last week, the chairman of the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran), Lazarus Jacobs, said MTC did not inform the regulator of the promotion and this is a transgression of the provisions of the Communications Act.

Jacobs said MTC may launch a promotion for a period not longer than three months, on condition that such rates are for promotional or aertising purposes only and all relevant particulars relating to the rates are provided to Cran no later than the date on which the promotion is made known to the public.

He said Cran noted that the ‘N$2 for 10MB’ promotion was also mandatory rather than optional in that all MTC subscribers were automatically added as participants to the promotion.

Ekandjo however defended this yesterday saying, “three days after promotion, the opt out option was introduced” without elaborating.

Jacobs said it was illegal for MTC to require consumers to send a message to a prescribed number, should they wish to cancel their participation in the promotion.

“The mandatory imposition of this promotional tariff and placing an obligation on the consumer to cancel their participation in a promotion, which the consumer has not initially subscribed to, is not in line with the Act and can therefore not be supported by Cran,” he said.

This is not the first time that Cran has expressed concern over MTC’s services. Last year the communication regulator expressed concern over missing data but nothing has been done up to now and Ekandjo noted that MTC did allow Cran to test its system, although Cran has not provided feedback to the public on their investigation since then.

Source : The Namibian