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Keep BOCRA’s keen eye on network providers

MMEGI EDITOR
For quite some time now, there has been an endless outcry from customers over unsatisfactory services by cellular network providers.

Most customers have taken to social media to show their discontent in the way the cellular network providers are (de)servicing them. 

The complaints, which in most cases the customers raise include amongst others, billing, missing airtime and data bundles, faulty telephone lines, slow Internet, and dysfunctional mobile money services.

Most of the complaints are related to billing for data services including roaming charges across all networks. There have also been a significant number of complaints related to Mobile Money services offered by both Orange Botswana and Mascom Wireless.

Consumers have decried the inconvenience caused by the minimum-waiting period they have to endure before they could receive refunds for money that was not dispensed by the network service providers.

Recently, both Orange and Mascom have cut and brought down the daily usage of bundles, which did not sit well with most people.

In light of this, we call on the regulator of communications, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) to intervene. We feel customers are being cheated in a way. Imagine you have subscribed for MySocial for a month, but you are unable to do whatever you want at any given time with the product you have paid money for.

BOCRA is mandated by the Communications Regulatory Authority Act, to protect and promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users of the services in the

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regulated sectors, particularly in respect of the prices charged for, and the availability, quality and variety of services and products.

It is empowered by the same Act where appropriate, ensures that the variety of services and products offered throughout Botswana satisfy all reasonable demands for those services and products.

BOCRA is also mandated to hear complaints and disputes from consumers and regulated suppliers and resolve these, or facilitate their resolution.

Early this year, a report by BOCRA indicated that they have received more complaints relating to the same issues that the subscribers have been complaining about, especially billing. The report, which was compiled between April and September last year showed that BOCRA has received more complaints from aggrieved cellphone users against Mascom, followed by Orange most over their billing system. It said that Mascom Wireless was the most contentious cellular phone service provider in Botswana. As much as the mobile network providers have made communication simple for us, they must comply.

It is high time the regulator investigated these issues and stamps its authority against those swindling customers of their hard-earned money.

 

Today’s thought

“Mobile devices, high-speed data communication, and online commerce are creating expectations that convenient, secure, real-time payment and banking capabilities should be available whenever and wherever they are needed.” 

– Jerome Powell



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