Consumer Code of Practice Nigeria

DEFINITIONS

  1. (1) Any reference to ‘NCC’ in this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice shall mean the Nigerian Communications Commission.

    (2) Any reference to ‘Act’ in this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice shall mean the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

    (3) “Celtouch website” refers to the internet website located at www.celtouch.com.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. (1) Professional and lawful conduct;

    (a) Celtouch will at all times conduct themselves in a professional manner in their dealings with Consumers.
    (b) Celtouch is committed to lawful conduct at all times.

    (2) Service levels;

    (a) Celtouch will not offer or promise services that they are unable to provide.
    (b) Provision of services must not be unreasonably prolonged or delayed.

    (3) Intellectual property;

    (a) Celtouch respects the intellectual property rights of their Content Provider Partners and other parties and will not knowingly infringe on such rights.

    (4) Content control;

    (a) Celtouch will not knowingly transmit or publish “content which is illegal or forbidden”.
    (b) If Celtouch becomes aware of illegal content under its control, Celtouch will immediately suspend access to that content. Where required to do so by law, Celtouch will report the illegal content to the relevant enforcement authority.

    (5) Data protection;

    (a) Celtouch will take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful access to, interception of, or interference with any data.

    (6) Decency: Celtouch will not provide any services or promotional material that;

    (a) Contains a visual presentation of explicit violent sexual conduct;
    (b) Results in any unreasonable invasion of privacy;
    (c) Induces an unacceptable sense of fear or anxiety;
    (d) Encourages or incites any person to engage in dangerous practices or to use harmful substances;
    (e) Causes grave or widespread offence; or
    (f) Debases, degrades or demeans.

    (7) Information providers;

    (a) Celtouch will legally bind any information provider with whom they contract for the provision of services to ensure that none of the services contravene this Celtouch Code of Conduct.
    (b) Celtouch may suspend or terminate the services of any information provider that provides a service in contravention of this Code of Conduct.

PART I—INTRODUCTION

  1. (1) The objective of this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice is to ensure that mobile subscribers in Nigeria can use mobile services with confidence. The Code aims to equip Consumers and consumers with information on all mobile VAS provided by Celtouch and its Content Provide Partners, especially on the pricing of such services; and a mechanism for addressing any concerns relating to services provided by Celtouch and response to any complaints made.

    (2) This Consumer Code of Practice applies to all mobile VAS offered to Consumers in Nigeria by Celtouch and its Content Provider Partners. It is the responsibility of Celtouch to monitor and ensure that its Content Provider Partners are compliant in accordance with this Code of Practice as published from time to time by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

    (3) As well as complying with this Code, Celtouch is obligated to also comply with any existing contracts and Agreements currently in place with the Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria.

    (4) Compliance monitoring and code administration will typically be undertaken by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the NCC, or such other departments or authorities within the NCC as are designated from time to time. Celtouch will undertake to guide and assist its Content Provider Partners in ensuring compliance from a service perspective always.

    (5) The NCC, acting on its own initiative or with the assistance of the Consumer Forum, may recommend amendments to Celtouch’s consumer code. The NCC would expect to consult on any such changes pursuant to sections 57 and 58 of the Act.

PART II—PROVISION OF INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS

Celtouch is committed to honest and fair dealings with their customers.

  1. (1) Description of Services: Celtouch is a pure Aggregator, enabling global content providers to offer their content and informational services to Consumers in Nigeria. Through its direct connections to mobile networks, Celtouch facilitates billing and messaging, as well as content delivery for various types of mobile content services, ranging from music and videos, to information and infotainment services.

    (2) Service Contract and Duration: Consumers subscribe to these services by opting in via WAP, Web or SMS and, in so doing, agree to accept and abide by the Terms and Conditions of the service; which are available on the content portal or upon request. These Terms and Conditions, per service, constitute the entire Agreement between Celtouch, it’s Content Provider Clients, and the End User/Subscriber.

    (3) Service Subscription: Subscription to services will be offered by way of WAP, WEB or SMS opt in. Each service, dependent on the mechanics of the service. For example, if the service is an SMS based infotainment service, then opt in will usually be done by way of SMS. If a service is offered on a WAP portal, then opt-in is done by way of WAP click.

    (4) Service Terms & Conditions: The Subscriber to each service will have the option of unsubscribing at any time via SMS, WAP or Web, depending on the mechanics of the service.

  2. (1) Celtouch and its Content Provider Partners shall provide Consumers with information on their services that is complete, accurate, and up-to-date and in simple, clean language.

    (2) Celtouch and its Content Provider Partners shall endeavour to respond in a timely manner to Consumer requests for information on their services and such information shall be provided free of charge and shall include at least the following:

    (a) current service arrangements, including rates and terms and conditions for all services offered to the public, shall be readily available in electronic format.
    (b) where Celtouch or its Content Provider Partner seeks any change in the tariff rates for services, affected Consumers shall be notified of the proposed price change in an effective manner that lets them comment to the NCC on the proposed changes. After approval by the NCC, Consumers should also be notified of the resulting tariff changes in an effective manner.

  3. Celtouch shall supply, or make available on request, transaction records showing all interactions between the Consumer and Celtouch, including but not limited to, proof of opt-in to mobile VAS offered by Celtouch and / or its Content Provider Partners.

  4. (1) Before entering into a contract for any service, Consumers shall be provided a complete description of the service in clear and plain language, avoiding unnecessary technical terms. Where other services are required to effectively utilize the service, the Consumer shall be sufficiently informed of such requirements or service dependencies.

    (2) Celtouch shall also provide information on the service quality levels offered, the waiting time for initial connection and any service areas and coverage maps if applicable.

    (3) Celtouch shall provide specific information regarding any compensation, refund or other arrangements, which may apply if contracted quality service levels are not met, along with the procedures and methods for resolving disputes in respect of the service contract.

    (4) Where services are packaged with one or more other services or products, Celtouch shall provide the Consumer in relation to each service or product:

    (a) a description of each component service or product, and where Celtouch sells the service or product component separately, the price that Celtouch would charge for the component on a stand-alone basis; and
    (b) for services that are bundled with services from third parties, Celtouch shall be fully responsible for the effective performance of the entire package including service support, maintenance, complaints handling, dispute resolution and other administrative requirements.

    (5) Where services are subject to upgrade or migration options, Consumers shall be provided with clear and complete information regarding the upgrade or migration terms, including any changes in service performance and any duly approved fees or charges resulting from the upgrade or migration.

  5. Before a contract for service is entered into, Celtouch shall inform the Consumer of:

    (a) the applicable rates or charges;
    (b) what the charges include;
    (c) each part or element of an applicable charge, and the method of its calculation;
    (d) the frequency of the charge or other circumstances that give rise to the charge;
    (e) whether the charges or elements thereof are subject to change from time to time, the circumstances of such changes and how the Consumer will be informed of such changes.

  6. The contract itself shall contain the following information regarding the term:

    (a) the commencement date of the contract;
    (b) what the minimum contract term is, if applicable;
    (c) the conditions and terms of renewal of the contract, if applicable;
    (d) terms and conditions that may apply to refund of any payments including timing and any deductions or charges applicable;
    (e) terms and conditions relating to situations that may give rise to the interruption, withdrawal or discontinuation of the service; and
    (f) terms and conditions relating to the delivery, installation or activation of the service.

  7. Celtouch shall provide services within any service supply time targets set out in the NCC’s Quality of Service Regulations, subject to the following:

    (a) in the event Celtouch encounters technical problems that interfere with provisioning of the service(s), the time for provisioning will be subject to any time or process of rectification permitted by the NCC;
    (b) Celtouch will not be responsible for any readiness of premises or availability of infrastructure or equipment that is beyond the reasonable control of Celtouch.

  8. (1) Celtouch shall implement the facilities and processes needed to permit Consumers to report faults 24 hours a day.

    (2) Celtouch shall comply and shall cause their agents to comply with the relevant fault repair standards set out in the NCC’s Quality of Service Regulations.

    (3) Celtouch shall endeavour to give advance warning of anticipated service disruptions or planned outages, including details of the disruption or outage, the services and service areas affected and any applicable compensation or other remedies.

    (4) In the event of force majeure such as floods and storms Celtouch shall endeavour to rectify the fault within such period as may be reasonable in the circumstances.

  9. (1) Celtouch shall comply with any network or other requirements that may be approved by the NCC in respect of the provision of emergency services, including such measures as location identification information, special numbers and routing to emergency services locations.

    (2) Calls to emergency services shall be free of charge.

    (3) Celtouch may apply to the NCC regarding the recovery of any special costs of implementing or operating emergency services, which the NCC may consider pursuant to section 107 of the Act.

  10. Celtouch will not knowingly disseminate information that is false or deceptive, or that is likely to mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration or omission.

PART III—ADVERTISING AND REPRESENTATION OF SERVICES

  1. The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) regulates advertising practices in Nigeria, and has established the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice. Celtouch shall comply with the advertising standards established by APCON, and any other applicable laws or standards, in addition to the rules regarding the advertising or other promotion of telecommunications services set out in this Code of Practice.

  2. (1) Celtouch shall make clear in advertising materials which promote the availability of a service any geographical or technical limitations on the availability of the service to consumers which:

    (a) substantially affect the performance of the service; and
    (b) are known to Celtouch.

    (2) Celtouch shall make clear in any advertising materials which promote a service offer, any limitations in the offer which restrict it—

    (a) to a particular group of people;
    (b) to a partial zone, region or other geographical area within the country;
    (c) to a particular period; or
    (d) through the limited availability of equipment, facilities or other materials.

  3. (1) Where Celtouch represents in advertising materials that a service is provided as part of a package, Celtouch shall ensure it is able to supply all components of the service package. In the event Celtouch is or may be unable to supply any component of the package, appropriate information about this limitation shall be included in the advertising materials.

    (2) Pricing must not contain hidden costs. Where applicable, pricing for content services must include the cost of the content and indicate any bearer costs that may be associated with downloading, browsing or receiving that content.

    (3) Pricing contained in an advertisement must not be misleading. If multiple communications are required to obtain content, then the advertised price must include the cost for all communications required for that transaction. A clear indication must always be given that more premium messages are required.

    (4) The price for a premium rated service must be easily and clearly visible in all advertisements. The price must appear with all instances of the premium number display.

    (5) Unless otherwise specified in the advertising guidelines, the name of the information provider providing the service must appear in all advertisements for premium rated services.

    (6) For menu-driven services such as USSD, the price for the service must be clearly stated at the top of the first page. Any additional costs associated with specific menu selections must be clearly indicated.

    (7) For services such as MMS, that have specific handset requirements, advertisements must make it clear that the customer needs to have a compatible handset that has been correctly configured to use that service.

    (8) Use of the word “free”;

    (a) The keyword “free” or words with the same or similar meaning (in any language) may not be used for any service unless that service has no associated charges whatsoever, excluding network bearer charges.

  4. (1) No Licensee shall engage in unsolicited telemarketing unless it discloses:

    (a) at the beginning of the communication, the identity of Celtouch or other person on whose behalf it is made and the precise purpose of the communication;
    (b) during the communication, the full price of any product or service that is the subject of the communication

PART IV—CONSUMER BILLING, CHARGING, COLLECTION AND CREDIT PRACTICES

  1. Celtouch shall at all times endeavour to—

    (a) ensure that subscription records and events are accurate and timely;
    (b) ensure that billing accuracy is verifiable;
    (c) ensure that sufficient information shall be readily available to the Consumer for verification of the bill without any charge;
    (d) ensure that upon a bona fide request from a Consumer, Celtouch shall inform or provide the Consumer with timely, accurate and current information about its subscription terms and conditions and options relevant to that Consumer;
    (e) retain records of a Consumer’s transaction records and related charges for a minimum period of twelve (12) months; and
    (j) in interpreting the obligations described in this section, references to “billing” or “bill” include subscriber opt-in, subscription billing and subscriber opt-out.

  2. Celtouch shall ensure that, at a minimum, the following information is included in any transaction records issued by it or on its behalf:

    (a) Celtouch’s current business name, address and registered number;
    (b) a way of identifying the bill uniquely;
    (c) the billing period;
    (d) a description of the charges (and credits) for which the Consumer is billed;
    (e) the total amount billed, applicable credits, payments or discounts, and the net amount payable by the Consumer (or repayable by Celtouch);
    (f) the date on which the bill is issued;
    (g) the bill (or refund) payment due date;

    (h) methods of bill (or refund) payment;
    (i) methods of contact for complaints and billing inquiries; and
    (j) any call charges applicable for complaints and billing inquiry calls.

  3. (1) Celtouch shall ensure that Consumers have access to itemized details of all charges, either on the bill or on a separate statement provided by Celtouch upon request.

    (2) Where applicable, Celtouch shall inform Consumers of the notice period required to obtain transaction records. In addition, Celtouch shall ensure that itemized details contained in previous bills are available for 12 months, or any longer period required by law.

    (3) Celtouch shall not charge Consumers for bills or billing related information, except where the Consumer requests information not required to be provided under this General Code such as requests for billing details more than one (1) year old. Celtouch shall inform Consumers of any applicable charge resulting from their billing requests, and shall obtain the consent of the Consumer to any charge before it is imposed.

  4. Celtouch shall provide Consumers with advance written notification of any proposed changes in billing periods, such advance notification to be at least equal to two (2) of its otherwise applicable billing periods (i.e. at least 2 months in advance where the billing period being changed is monthly).

  5. Where a Consumer has not paid Celtouch all or part of a bill for services provided by Celtouch, any measures taken by Celtouch to effect payment or disconnection shall—

    (a) be proportionate and not unduly discriminatory; and
    (b) be accompanied by appropriate warning to the Consumer in advance of any resulting service interruption or disconnection; and
    (c) confine any service interruption or disconnection to the service(s) concerned, as far as technically feasible.

PART VI—CONSUMER OBLIGATIONS

  1. Consumers shall be bound by Celtouch’s terms of service on return of a signed service agreement, or on clearly accepting the service terms by any form of telecommunications. Consumers shall also be deemed to accept Celtouch’s service terms on any commencement of use of the service that follows adequate communication by Celtouch of its service terms.

  2. Consumers shall not re-sell or re-distribute any content or service provided by Celtouch except as permitted by the service agreement of Celtouch (and subject to any applicable licensing or authorization by the NCC pursuant to the Act).

  3. Consumers shall not use services to send messages that are obscene, threatening or otherwise contrary to applicable laws or regulation.

  4. (1) In a competitive market, a Consumer may be tempted to accumulate payment arrears with one Licensee for services used, then ‘switch’ service to another Licensee without settling payment with the previous Licensee. This type of “dishonest churning” by Consumers constitutes an abuse of a competitive telecommunications market. To prevent this abusive behaviour, Consumers shall be required to settle a valid payment arrears with Celtouch before switching to another service provider.

    (2) Celtouch shall be permitted to investigate if a person seeking its services has settled with his or her previous supplier, before having any obligation to provide service to that person.

PART VI—PROTECTION OF CONSUMER INFORMATION

  1. (1) The purpose of this part is to set out the responsibility of Celtouch in the protection of individual Consumer information.

    (2) Celtouch should also be aware of the authority granted to the NCC under Section 147 of the Act, which permits the NCC on certain situations to allow “authorised interception of communications”, including stipulating the technical requirements for authorised interception.

  2. (1) Celtouch may collect and maintain information on individual Consumers reasonably required for its business purposes. However, the collection and maintenance of information on individual Consumers shall be—

    (a) fairly and lawfully collected and processed;
    (b) processed for limited and identified purposes;
    (c) relevant and not excessive;
    (d) accurate;
    (e) not kept longer than necessary;
    (f) processed in accordance with the Consumer’s other rights;
    (g) protected against improper or accidental disclosure; and
    (h) not transferred to any party except as permitted by any terms and conditions agreed with the Consumer, as permitted by any permission or approval of the NCC, or as otherwise permitted or required by other applicable laws or regulations.

    (2) Celtouch shall meet generally accepted fair information principles including:

    (a) providing notice as to what individual Consumer information they collect, and its use or disclosure;
    (b) the choices Consumers have with regard to the collection, use and, disclosure of that information;
    (c) the access Consumers have to that information, including to ensure its accuracy; and
    (d) the security measures taken to protect the information, and the enforcement and redress mechanisms that are in place to remedy any failure to observe these measures.

    (3) These rules apply to individual Consumer information whether initially provided verbally or in written form, so long as that information is retained by Celtouch in any recorded form.

  3. Any Licensee that collects information on individual Consumers shall adopt and implement a policy regarding the proper collection, use and protection of that information. Celtouch shall ensure that any other persons with whom they exchange or otherwise disclose such information have adopted and implemented an appropriate protection of Consumer information policy.

  4. (1) Celtouch’s policy on the protection of Consumer information shall be made available in an accessible and easy to read manner, including as specifically directed by the NCC from time to time.

    (2) The policy shall state clearly what information is being collected; the use of that information; possible third party exchange or disclosure of that information; and the choices available to the Consumer regarding collection, use and disclosure of the collected information.

    (3) The policy shall disclose the consequences, if any, of a Consumer’s refusal to provide information.

    (4) The policy shall also include a clear statement of how to contact Celtouch regarding information issues and related information access or complaint mechanisms.

  5. (1) When collecting, maintaining, using or disclosing individually identifiable Consumer information, Celtouch shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the information is accurate, relevant and current for the purposes for which it is to be used.

    (2) Celtouch shall establish appropriate processes or mechanisms so that inaccuracies in individual Consumer information, including out of date information, may be identified and corrected. Other procedures to ensure data quality may include use of reliable sources and collection methods, reasonable and appropriate Consumer access and correction, and protection against incidental or unauthorized alteration.

PART VII—COMPLAINTS HANDLING

  1. (1) Celtouch shall provide easily understood information about their complaint processes in various media and formats, including as specifically directed by the NCC from time to time.

    (2) Celtouch shall ensure that Consumers can easily identify how a complaint may be lodged, either at Celtouch’s premises or using identified forms of telecommunications.

    (3) Information on the complaints handling processes shall contain information—
    (a) to Consumers about their right to complain;
    (b) on how Celtouch can be contacted to make a complaint; and
    (c) on the types of supporting information including documents the complainant needs to furnish when making a complaint.

    (4) All complaints will be recorded by Celtouch, and processed in accordance with identified practices and procedures.

  2. (1) Celtouch are encouraged to make adequate provision to ensure that people with physical disabilities or other special needs are able to access their complaint handling processes, including ensuring that Consumers can be easily represented by their authorised representatives in order to make a complaint.

    (2) In cases where Consumers specifically request assistance in lodging complaints, Celtouch are encouraged to provide reasonable assistance.

  3. (1) Written complaints shall be acknowledged by Celtouch and acted on within any time frames set out in the NCC’s Quality of Service Regulations (or as otherwise directed by the NCC from time to time). Celtouch can acknowledge and otherwise initially respond to a complaint either verbally or in writing, but should make reasonable efforts to make the initial response in the manner requested by the complainant.

    (2) Non-written complaints shall be taken as acknowledged by Celtouch at the time the complaint was communicated to Celtouch.

    (3) Where possible, Consumers shall be advised when they make a complaint of the expected actions and timing for investigating and resolving the complaints. In the event that Celtouch regards the complaint as frivolous or vexatious, the Consumer shall be informed accordingly and if dissatisfied the Consumer shall have the further recourse described below. In any event, no Consumer complaint shall remain unresolved for more than three (3) months.

    (4) Celtouch shall implement processes to provide Consumers with sufficient information and the means to inquire on the progress of complaints. Such processes may include complaint reference numbers or other identifiers in order to facilitate timely and accurate responses to subsequent enquiries by Consumers.

    (5) Consumers shall be advised of the outcome of the investigation of their complaint, and any resulting decision by Celtouch.

    (6) Where a Consumer is not satisfied with a decision reached pursuant to a complaint, Celtouch shall give the Consumer the option of pursuing an identified escalation process by which the decision may be examined by a suitably qualified person in Celtouch’s organization. Where the Consumer has already been provided with the benefit of the

    (7) Licensee’s escalation process(es) and where there are no further escalation processes, Celtouch shall inform the Consumer accordingly.

    (8) In the event that a complaint has not been resolved to the Consumer’s satisfaction, including as a result of any escalation process, within sixty (60) days of being communicated to Celtouch, Celtouch shall inform the Consumer that he or she may refer the complaint to the NCC.

    (9) Failure to deal with Consumer complaints, and any related service failures, shall also be subject to the requirements of the Quality of Service Regulations, including payment of any specific service credits or rebates established pursuant to these regulations.

  4. Complaint handling processes shall be provided free of charge. However, Celtouch may impose a reasonable charge for complaint handling processes where investigation of the complaint requires the retrieval of records more than twelve (12) months old, and where that retrieval results in any incremental expense or significant inconvenience to Celtouch. Any such charges shall be identified and agreed to by the Consumer before being incurred.

  5. (1) Celtouch shall advise Consumers that, in the event they remain dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint they may refer the complaint to identified persons or departments, within the NCC.

    (2) For disputes that remain unresolved by other means, the NCC will apply the processes set out in its Dispute Resolution Guidelines.

  6. (1) Celtouch shall avoid imposing any disconnection or credit management action regarding any service to which a complaint or billing dispute relates while the complaint or dispute is being investigated. Celtouch shall inform the Consumer that, while the complaint or dispute, is being investigated, the Consumer is obliged to make payment of any outstanding amounts other than the amount that is specifically in dispute.

    (2) Where Celtouch intends to take disconnection or credit management action against a Consumer regarding any amount that has been the subject of a complaint or dispute, Celtouch will specifically notify the Consumer before taking the intended action.

  7. (1) Celtouch shall have appropriate recording systems for complaints and their outcomes. Such tracking is also needed to meet the requirements of the quality of Service Regulations

    (2) Complaints tracking data shall be categorised and analysed by Celtouch from time to time to allow for the identification of recurring problems. Celtouch shall inform the Consumer that a record of their complaints is being kept, and if requested by the Consumer shall describe the complaints, tracking system used by Celtouch.

  8. Celtouch shall review their complaint handling and tracking processes from time to time to ensure effective processing, of complaints. Celtouch shall also report on the outcome of these reviews as requested by the NCC, and shall make any changes to complaint handling and tracking processes identified, by the NCC.

  9. Celtouch shall update any information regarding their complaint handling and tracking processes as appropriate, including information provided to Consumers or the NCC.

  10. Information collected and recorded as part of Celtouch’s complaint handling processes shall be retained by Celtouch for at least twelve (12) months following resolution of a complaint or as directed by the Commission from time to time.

  11. The NCC may from time to time audit the complaints handling and tracking processes of Celtouch, including by exercising its powers pursuant to section 141 of the Act.

PART VII—CODE COMPLIANCE

  1. 43. Celtouch shall—

    (a) develop appropriate policies and procedures for ensuring compliance with the General Code as published by the NCC (or any individual consumer code approved by the NCC);
    (b) ensure that the compliance policy, procedures and applicable code provisions are publicized to employees, other representatives of Celtouch and Celtouch’s Content Provider Partners;
    (c) develop appropriate procedures or programs to educate employees and Celtouch Content Provider Partners regarding code compliance issues;
    (d) implement appropriate management structures and practices to monitor compliance with the policies, procedures and code provisions; and
    (e) provide information to the NCC, as provided for in the General Code of Practice as published by the NCC, or as otherwise requested by the NCC, relevant to Celtouch’s consumer code obligations and ongoing compliance efforts.

  2. (1) The NCC will monitor compliance with applicable code provisions on a regular basis to ensure the overall effectiveness of consumer codes in achieving their objectives, which include—

    (a) complaints monitoring;
    (b) routine verification of code compliance by Celtouch; and
    (c) identification of other consumer code issues.

    (2) The NCC will publish quarterly progress reports to assist it in its ongoing monitoring and review of consumer codes and related issues. The progress reports will include—

    (a) identified breaches of applicable code provisions, and any remedial actions taken;
    (b) recurring complaints and actions taken to address these;
    (c) statistics on complaints and their resolution; and
    (d) steps taken by Celtouch in the development of in-house compliance systems,

    (2) The NCC’s annual report will contain a summary of all progress reports or the relevant year.

  3. (1) Complaints about failure to comply with the General Code of Practice as published by the NCC, or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice, will arise in two broad categories: Consumer complaints and “Industry” complaints.

    (2) The NCC shall administer appropriate and impartial processes for the investigation and resolution of both Consumer and Industry complaints.

    (3) In the event the NCC finds that a complaint does not fall within its jurisdiction, the NCC will refer the matter to the appropriate body.

  4. All complaints by Consumers will first be lodged and dealt with by Celtouch in accordance with Part VII of the General Code of Practice as published by the NCC or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice. Where a Consumer lodges a complaint with the NCC and does not initially contact Celtouch, the NCC will forward the complaint to Celtouch for resolution in accordance with Part VII of the General Code of Practice as published by the NCC or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice.

  5. (1) Industry complaints are those made by one Licensee against another for an alleged breach of a consumer code. Industry complaints will also include complaints by a group representing consumer interests against Celtouch.

    (2) All Industry complaints will be lodged directly with the NCC. Where an Industry complaint is lodged with Celtouch, without evidence that the complaint has been lodged with the NCC as well, Celtouch shall forward a copy of the complaint to the NCC without delay, and will notify the complainant that its further contact regarding the complaint should be with the NCC and not Celtouch.

  6. (1) The NCC will oversee compliance with and administration of the General Code of Practice published by the NCC or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice and any other applicable consumer codes.

    (2) The NCC will analyse and investigate complaints to determine whether there has been a breach of the applicable code. In the event the NCC finds that there has been a breach, it will consider the following factors in arriving at a decision on the remedial actions or penalties to be imposed:

    (a) seriousness of the breach;
    (b) past conduct of Celtouch with respect to compliance with the code;
    (c) representations made by Celtouch with regards to the breach and related circumstances; and
    (d) any compensation offered by Celtouch to affected Consumers for the breach.

    (3) The monitoring and enforcement of consumer codes will be exercised in accordance with the Nigerian Communication’s (Enforcement Processes, etc.) Regulations 2005. With respect to any penalties for contravention of applicable code provisions, the NCC will be guided by the considerations set out in Chapter IV (“Administrative Fines”) of those regulations.

    (4) The NCC may also issue a caution notice to Celtouch with no record of past problems, identifying remedial measures to be undertaken but imposing no other penalties or sanctions.

    (5) Continuing or repeated breaches of the General Code of Practice or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice, or any other applicable consumer code shall be reviewed by the NCC to determine if they constitute an offence under the Act, including as a breach of applicable licence conditions.

    (6) Unless otherwise specifically identified by the NCC, the parties to a complaint shall be responsible for their own costs or expenses associated with the complaint. The NCC shall also identify any circumstances in which any costs or charges will be payable to the NCC in connection with its involvement in the resolution of any complaint, prior to a party incurring the payment obligation.

  7. In the event that a decision by the NCC is not accepted by a party to the decision, that party will have the right to challenge the decision pursuant to Sections 86 to 88 of the Act, in accordance with the practices and procedures described in those sections.

  8. Information disclosed in the course of any complaint or compliance proceeding under the General Code of Practice published by the NCC, or this Celtouch Consumer Code of Practice, or other applicable consumer code may be protected as confidential information as provided under the Act, including Sections 59, 60 and 86(3) of the Act.

  9. Prevention of Unsolicited SMS

    (1) Opt-in and Opt-out Option: Celtouch shall grant every Consumer the right to exercise the option to either be subscribed to, or unsubscribed from, a service as may be advertised from time to time.