CAMA bemoans TNM, Airtel’s rate of inefficiencies

Annoyed with what it has described as high rate of inefficiencies in its services, the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has asked the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to ensure its licensees comply with terms and conditions of their licenses and applicable regulations.

CAMA has observed that the services of the country’s mobile phone service providers- TNM and Airtel- and Multichoice Malawi are becoming appallingly pathetic to the dismay of the citizens.

“We bemoan the high rate of inefficiencies of the mobile phone operators and Multichoice Malawi. As a consumer rights defender, we strongly condemn them for the poor services offered to customers and their exorbitant tariffs.

“These service providers are busy holding promotions and giving little time to improve the quality of their service delivery,” CAMA Programmes Manager, Pastor Rumbani Mkandawire told Nyasa Times.

Mkandawire: Improve

Mkandawire: Improve

He added: “We are reminding TNM and AIRTEL that whenever they are conducting their promotions they must always conform to Part 7 Section 44 of the Consumers Protection Act.”

The section in question stipulates that any advertiser of technology, goods and services must conform to rules of sincerity and truth.

But Mkandawire clarified that CAMA was not necessarily against the promotions but “we are saying let them also concentrate on improving quality of their services first then do the promotions.”

He said the companies were not obeying the rules of the Act which says “a consumer has the right to efficient and satisfactory goods, technology and services one purchases from a trader/supplier.”

Following its comparison of other mobile service providers within the SADC region such as Vodacom and MTN, CAMA observed that Malawi had the lowest quality of mobile phone service delivery.

The consumer body further observed most customer care agents lack professionalism when handling complaints from customers.

“Instead of listening and handling clients’ complaints professionally they end up shouting at them and responding with all sorts of provocative feedbacks. Sometimes they keep you on hold for long time without being assisted,” observed Mkandawire.

Just about eight percent of Malawi’s total population is connected to mobile phones in the country.

And turning to Multichoice Malawi, Mkandawire urged the company to improve its services as well and explain why Malawi does not have access to some channels despite paying the same amount with other countries.

He said CAMA had been engaging the service providers several times on the issues but they have always promised to look into the matter.

Section 5 part 1 of the Communications Act gives powers to MACRA to regulate telecommunications, broadcasting, and use of radio frequencies throughout Malawi.

But CAMA lambasted MACRA for being “fast asleep and failing to monitor activities” of its licensees for them to provide quality services to clients.

“MACRA must wake up from its slumber and do its job of monitoring these licensees properly to ensure they always comply with the terms and conditions of their licenses and applicable regulations,” he said.

The programmes manager also urged ESCOM and water boards to put in place measures that would lessen the continued power failure and its high tariffs and frequent water shortages in the country respectively.

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