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Presentation on consumer issues in ICT regulation

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CA- ICT Week Presentation 2015

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Presentation on consumer issues in ICT regulation

  1. 1. CONSUMER ISSUES IN ICT REGULATION Presented at the CA, ICT Week 11th - 15th May, 2015 Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya Presenter: Juma Ooro Consumer & Public Affairs Department Communications Authority of Kenya
  2. 2. Table of Contents • Introduction • Regulatory framework • Regulatory requirements • Customer Expectations/Satisfaction • Consumer rights & behavior • Customer Responsibilities • Consumer Education • Consumer Protection • Complaints Handling • Common complaints • Challenges • Emerging Issues • Conclusions & Recommendations
  3. 3. Introduction • The Authority has licensed several service providers in various categories – Telecom, postal/courier, broadcasters hence enhancing competition in ICT sector. • With the increase in the number of operators and service providers, several consumer concerns have also arisen. • Concerns range from availability of service, variety, the price, quality, to safety of the products/services.
  4. 4. Regulatory Framework • Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Articles 46 and 232. • Consumer Protection Act, 2012, arising from Article 46 of Constitution • Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 • Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment Act), 2013 • Kenya Information and Communications (Consumer Protection) Regulations, 2010 – under revision • Kenya Information and Communications (Dispute Resolution) Regulations, 2010 • License conditions
  5. 5. …Regulatory requirements Licensee Operation Related Requirements • Develop and Implement a Customer care system. • Provision of services and sale if ICT terminal equipment. • Develop and publicize complaint handling procedures of • Provide information to customers • Develop and Submit to the Commission Code of commercial practice • Keep customer information confidential
  6. 6. …Regulatory requirements • Facilitate and assist persons with disabilities to make complaints • Develop and implement child protection mechanisms in all services • Develop and implement Outage credit system • Provide Operator assistance Services • Desist from sending unsolicited communications (Opt In principle applies) • Avail calling line identification features to consumers • Provide free access to emergency safety and assistance • Install billing system that permits issuance of bills
  7. 7. …Regulatory requirements • Submit standard subscriber service agreements for approval The Authority should: • Issue guidelines for the implementation of Consumer Protection regulations • Monitor sector performance • Issue penalties on offences in contravention of regulations
  8. 8. Customer Expectations/ Satisfaction • Service that meets set quality standards – Availability – Reliability – Accessibility – Affordability • Regulators set the minimum standards for operators/service providers • After sales service including complaints handling
  9. 9. Customer Satisfaction • The Authority conducts a Customer Satisfaction Survey annually • Overall Customer satisfaction index with Postal & Courier Services 73.2%% in 2013. • Some parameters measured were – Reliability – Range of services – Availability of information relating to services offered – Effectiveness of complaints handling procedure
  10. 10. Customer Satisfaction… • Ease of getting through to customer care help line • Provisions made to serve persons with disability • Geographical reach (network) of services
  11. 11. Meeting Customer Expectations Recommendations for Operators/Service providers • Develop and implement – Customer Care Systems – Quality management Systems – Complaints management systems (manual/electronic) – Commercial code of practices – Billing systems (tariff ratings) – Compensation Policy
  12. 12. …Meeting Customer Expectations – Provision of information to consumers (website, pamphlets) •Name of service provider •Description of the service •Customer service number •Terms and conditions/service level agreements •Tariffs • Fulfillment of requirements under Act, Regulations (Consumer protection and Postal Courier) and License Conditions
  13. 13. Consumer Rights… • The UN Guidelines for consumer protection stipulate that consumers have following rights: – The right to Safety – The right to be informed – The right to choose – The right to be heard – The right to satisfaction – The right to education – The right to redress – The right to a healthy environment These are also amplified in constitution
  14. 14. Consumer Behavior Authority regularly carries out a consumer trends and behavior survey: Some behaviours noted: •Consumers do not seek for adequate information to determine best product in the market •Consumers do not channel their complaints to appropriate authorities (complain to their friends) •Consumers do not complain •Consumers are increasingly concerned about quality of service •Consumers are more “tech savvy”
  15. 15. Customer Responsibilities • use communications systems and services in the appropriate manner, without abusing them and abide by any safety or security requirements ; • familiarize with and honour their obligations under any contract entered into with a product supplier or service provider; • make reasonable decisions in exercising their right of choice • comply with any law or regulation that governs the conduct of customers and subscribers • Obligation to pay for the services offered to them.
  16. 16. Consumer Education The Authority is mandated to protect consumers of ICT services (includes Postal/Courier) in Kenya with regard to the prices charged and their quality and variety. Consumer Education Meant to enable gaining of knowledge and skills for: • Consumers make better choices • Consumers know their rights and responsibilities • Consumers seek redress • Advertising & Publicity in media • Developed Consumer Education fact sheets, brochures, flyers • Glossary of Terms
  17. 17. Consumer Education Education/campaign initiatives Digital Migration Awareness Campaign •Chukua Hatua campaign – ‘Pata Huduma ya Mawasiliano Unayostahili’ (targeting Mobile and Internet users) – 2009/2010 •Anti-counterfeit Phone •SIM Card Registration •Mobile Number Portability •Kaa Macho (Targeting Postal and Courier Consumers) – 2010/2011 •County Education Forum (2014/2015) – targeting digital migration and others
  18. 18. Consumer Education Workshops meant for awareness •Addressing environmental concerns in ICT infrastructure development, 2009 •E-waste and environment: The role of ICTs stakeholders in protecting the environment, 2010 •Protecting children in cyberspace: whose responsibility is it? 2011 •E-accessibility workshop for persons with disabilities, 2012 •Women, Girls and ICT, 2013
  19. 19. Consumer Protection Some key drivers in Consumer Protection  Product availability/ Variety  Accessibility  Prices/ Value for money  Product Safety  Reliability  Timely Delivery  Confidentiality of personal/customer info  Too much info in the market
  20. 20. Complaints Handling • Facilitate resolution of consumer Complaints • If service provider has not been able to resolve or complainant is dissatisfied with resolution • Authority has Consumer Complaints Procedures and automated system to handle complaints • Service providers are required to have a complaints mechanism and make known to their customers. • Complaint mechanism should include escalation to the Authority
  21. 21. Common Complaints • Unsolicited communications (Calls/SMS/E-mails) • Interruption of service • Billing • Service failures/delay • Financial fraud • Network signal • Criminal use of communications equipment: threats, nuisance, prank etc • Cybercrime • Broadcast content • Environmental & safety issues • Frequency interference
  22. 22. Common Complaints • Postal/Courier • Damage, • tampering, • pilfering, • loss, • delay of postal articles, • high and unclear operator tariffs, • Lack of display of tariffs
  23. 23. Conclusion • Educate/sensitize their customers • Service providers should recognize complaints as an assessment on their service delivery • Treat complaints as feedback for improvement • Expeditiously dispense with complaints before the same is escalated to Regulator
  24. 24. Recommendations • Operators should – Increase interconnectivity and infrastructure sharing – Provide easily accessible information to consumers on their services (website, consumer information pamphlets e.t.c) •terms of service •tariffs, service area/region/reach •Extent of partnership with other service providers – Develop a complaints management system (Manual and/or Electronic) e.g. CRM
  25. 25. Customers are the reason organizations exist Thank You! chukuahatua@ca.go.ke www.ca.go.ke Facebook: Communicationsauthorityofkenya Twitter: Ca_kenya

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