News : ZICTA Awareness Programme Goes to Western Province, Mumbwa
Mumbwa, Zambia, May 20, 2015 -- The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) held a Stakeholder and Consumer Awareness Campaigns in Western Province and Mumbwa District from 4th to 13th May 2015.
The Authority as provided for in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act No. 15 of 2009, is mandated to:
"Promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users of information and electronic services including in particular those who are disabled or of pensionable age in respect of the prices charges, the quality and variety of such services."
The Authority has observed that most consumers, especially in the rural areas may not be aware of this mandate, their rights, obligations, responsibilities and complaint redress channels which the consumers should follow whenever they have any challenges.
The key objective of these campaigns was to accord residents in the targeted areas the opportunity to be equipped with knowledge on their rights and obligations, obtain feedback from the Authority on the challenges they face when accessing Mobile, Internet and Postal and Courier services and how to lodge their complaints with the Authority. Furthermore, the Authority team was also receiving and processing ICT complaints from consumers and members of the public during the stated activities.
The Authority held road shows and public forums in all the districts which where visited these been Kaoma, Lukulu, Mongu, Senanga, Mumbwa. This created a platform for interaction between the general public, government officials, mobile service providers as well as the private sector. People were encouraged to ask as many questions as possible to ensure that all their concerns, queries and even general questions that they had about ZICTA. The team took time to answer each and every question raised to ensure that the correct information was given to the public. Consumers were also strongly encouraged to exercise their rights and seek redress whenever they feel their rights are being infringed.
According to the Consumer protection Guidelines, ZICTA is mandated to investigate and determine any complaint in accordance with the provisions of ICT, Postal and ECT Acts.
It is against this background that ZICTA established the 7070 Call Centre to deal with consumer complaints which have either gone unresolved by service providers or consumers feel was inadequately handled. The Call Centre is available from Monday to Friday, during working hours (08:00hrs to 17:00 hrs. It is important to note that one can lodge their complaint from any network using the toll –free number 7070 at no cost. The ZICTA Call Centre agents are equipped to attend to Postal & Courier Service Providers as well as ICTs user complaints.
The following are some of the key the issues that the call centre looks at;
1. Poor quality of service
2. High tariffs
3. Faulty telephone services
4. Billing inaccuracy
5. False and misleading advertising
6. Loss of airtime
7. Service suspension
8. Unsolicited SMS
10. Intrusion of privacy
11. Delayed delivery of posted item
12. Suspension of service
14. Health and safety
15. Unavailability of Emergency line numbers
16. Access to call centre
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It is important to note that before the call centre handles a complaint there are some simple steps that the call centre expects the dissatisfied complainant to take. These include:
1. The complaint has been lodged in with the service provider against whom the complaint is being made and a reference number issued
2. If the complaint is not resolved, the complainant must demand that the complaint be handled by the supervisor of the customer care representative
3. The complainant demands to be given a reference number for the complaint they lodge with their respective service provider. Alternatively, complaints must note down the names of the persons they dealt as well as the date and time they lodged in the complaint.
4. The complaint must be resolved within 14 days by the service provider
5. If the complaint is not handled within the stipulated time, it can be forwarded to the ZICTA Call Centre
6. Complainants logging a call that they cannot access the service provider call centres can call ZICTA directly without following these steps.
The Authority will this year continue to conduct similar activities in all provinces across the country to ensure that we reach out to the people on the grass roots especially those in unserved and underserved areas. This will ensure that we encourage and educate as many people as possible in the use of ICTs in promoting its access for all.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authority:
The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) is an ICT Regulatory body responsible for regulating the ICT Sector in Zambia.
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