The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has released draft consumer protection guidelines for public comments and review. The draft is based on previous Acts developed to protect users and consumers of communication services. The most prevalent of the contents of the draft is the fact the Government will now be involved in protecting you from spam messages.
Government vs Spam Messages
The draft is live at the CA website and is quite extensive. However, here are some of the major highlights. According to the draft, advertising messages must only be sent between 7 AM and 7 PM.
In addition to this, all National Facility providers have also been asked to set up “Do Not SMS, Do Not Call Register, Do Not Spam and Do Not Disturb” systems.
The guidelines add that:
- Ensure that all its subscribers can register their numbers in the “Do Not SMS, Do Not Call Register, Do Not Spam and Do Not Disturb” registers.
- Stop delivering any spam or telemarketing calls from itself or other providers to any number in the register
- Put in place a mechanism that prevents spamming of the customers that object to receiving calls or SMS.
The guidelines have will also meet some aims including:
- Encourage best practice by licensed service providers and promote high-quality services to consumers.
- Inform on consumers’ expectations regarding quality of service, fairness in tariffs and transparency in billing;
- Provide consumers with the opportunity to resolve disputes with their service providers in an effective and efficient manner;
- increase awareness of consumers’ rights and discourage licensed service providers from abusing these rights;
- clarify any ambiguity which may exist in the provisions in the Regulations for the time being in force; and
- protect customers from abrupt changes to or termination of communication services without an opportunity to arrange for the provision of the same/similar services with another provider.
The draft tasks operators to avail their services 99.9% of the time. Operators should also answer customer care calls within 15 seconds or less after making the call. The time covers hold time (as a call awaits pickup from an agent).
Telcos are must complete/answer to customer queries within a day. Moreover, they must also attend to customer complaints within 14 days.