One of the country’s mobile service provider, Telecoms Networks Malawi (TNM) has been forced to postpone its intended 14 percent tarrifs hike after the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) intervened.
On Thursday in an sms alerts from the mobile service provider to its customers TNM says “prepaid tariffs for voice and sms will remain unchanged until further notice.”
The hike was going to be effective March 4 2015.
TNM tariff hike came at a time when the kwacha is appreciating, fuel prices are falling and inflation is expected to fall further.
The company on Monday had issued a statement informing its customers that it has hiked its tariffs due to the expenditure for investment in infrastructure for telecommunication and the operational costs to support the network.
TNM added that the cost of utilities, goods and services has significantly increased in Malawi during the past year and thus eroded the returns for telecommunication operators.
However, Cama branded the tariffs hike as daylight robbery, arguing the increment wasn’t justifiable as consumers were expecting the company to drop its tariffs due to the economic gains Malawi has recorded.
In a letter addressed to TNM Chief Executive Officer and the Director General of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito dismissed the reasons the mobile service provider cited justifying the tariffs increase.
“The reasons given for the increase are purely to maximize on your profits which we find unethical and morally wrong considering the fact that Consumers in Malawi continue complaining about the poor services
that your mobile network provides,” said Kapito in the letter dated 2nd March, 2015 which Nyasa Times has a copy.
He said consumers in Malawi have been complaining about the continued high tariffs, which do not match with the services that they get.
Kapito added: “While we do appreciate that your existence on the market is dependent on the profits you make, it is an insult to the Consumers for you to assume that you can only make such huge profits through unjustifiable tariffs while providing poor services. An increase in tariffs alone does not contribute to increased profits for your organization.”
He then called on the mobile service provider should manage and control inefficiencies which are rampant within its systems such as “useless, endless and annoying” promotions to ensure consumers are not struggling to access the high cost of services and products.
“We are, therefore, requesting and demanding you to find other sources on which you can improve your profitability other than the proposed tariff increase. It is not our intention to use threats but to work with you in order to ensure that Consumer Protection and satisfaction is one of your core values, and if you decide to proceed with your intended tariff increases CAMA will have no choice but to seek legal redress and continuously mobilize consumers to stop using
your services,” added Kapito.
Cama boss Kapito said consumers in Malawi have been complaining about the continued high tariffs, which do not match with the services that they get.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :