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ProConsumer Records High Number of Complaints Due to Changes in Telecommunications Services

ProConsumer Records High Number of Complaints Due to Changes in Telecommunications Services

ProConsumer, an association dedicated to defending consumer rights, revealed on Wednesday 8 May that changes to telecommunications services in Mozambique, especially the elimination of unlimited packages, are causing constraints for customers, who have been registering frequent complaints.

‘There have been complaints, since there has been an increase in telecoms prices, which has had a negative impact on the consumer’s financial situation,’ said the executive director of ProConsumer, Alexandre Bacião.

Without specifying numbers, he said that the consumer defence institution has been receiving complaints since Saturday (4) about the alleged price hike in packages, especially mobile data, causing ‘major constraints for the consumer’.

‘The regulator said the price would go down, but that’s not what’s happening. They say they’ve set targets, but in practice that’s not what we’re seeing. The situation is harming many people, especially students who use data services in the teaching and learning process. We need to realise that nowadays mobile phone services are not a luxury, but a necessity for communication,’ he explained.

Faced with the end of unlimited packages, the executive director of ProConsumer accused the regulator of failing to provide information, ‘seriously violating consumer rights’.

‘Consumer information has always been poor. That was the most glaring thing about this process. The regulator made decisions about the functioning of the market without properly consulting the public,’ he said.

On Tuesday (7), the Mozambican President of the National Communications Institute (INCM), Tuaha Mote, said that he had instructed telecoms operators to withdraw unlimited data and voice packages to avoid ‘market collapse’ and ‘unfair competition’.

‘Prices are no longer the same. We have banned the implementation of unlimited packages, which were damaging the economy. The 30-day packages continue, but consumers can’t talk unlimitedly to the point where it costs them zero,’ he argued.

He said that the regulator had eliminated unlimited data and voice service packages as a measure to avoid ‘unfair competition’ between operators and to allow the market to open up more to attract investment in the sector.

Last week, the regulator announced that telecoms services would become cheaper on average from Saturday (4), with the entry into force of tariffs in which operators adjust the minimum values.

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At the time it was said that the average price of the voice service in Mozambique would drop from six meticals (eight euro cents) per minute to five meticals (five cents), while the average price of the data service will drop from 2.30 meticals (33 cents) per megabyte to 1.08 meticals (26 cents). On the other hand, the average price for SMS messaging services has fallen from 1.70 meticals (24 cents) per SMS to 1.10 meticals (one euro cent).


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