Stop charging unsolicited callertunes

When the new Nigeria Minister for Communications, Adebayo Shittu resumed office a few months ago, there were loads of promise, the last on the list was what really concerned lay person on the road:

“I promise that Nigerians will get value for every kobo they spend on telecommunication services.”

Has he delivered? One of the biggest scam that I have seen going on in Nigeria in the last few years was unsolicited callertunes. Not too surprising that the most ripped off people in this were the very poor people who rely solely on cheap scratch cards to make calls.

The other day I called a few friends on both MTN and Globacom each one has a callertunes something that goes ‘Orisa bi iya k’osi’ (in honour of Mother’s Day) – even those who are not previously on callertunes all have one imposed on them.

I know that MTN is Nigeria No1 foreign company enemy at the moment as they owe us tax, this is a different issues that cut across board with all mobile telephone providers in Nigeria with the exception of Etisalat.

This is how this unsolicited callertunes work for these two major mobile telephone  companies:

Most Nigerians today rely on scratch cards to make calls – prepaid. Those who can afford post paid or monthly package are in the minority.

Those who are mostly affected by callertunes are the prepaid folks. Say Mama Eleja loaded ₦200 in a month to make calls.

From that ₦200 MTN deducts ₦50 monthly for callertunes charge.

If it was Globacom, they deduct ₦20/week = ₦80 monthly – This one is for those who preach ‘buy local’, what is the benefit for the masses?

If Mama Eleja does not want callertunes, she will have to go to MTN or Glo offices to take it off her SIM or follow on-screen instructions (goodluck if she can’t read) or call their offices.

If Mama Eleja was too busy or has no knowledge of how to go about the issue of taking callertunes off her phone and at the end of the month still has credit of ₦80 on her account. MTN or Glo would gladly take yet another ₦50/month or ₦20 per week from the woman’s credit for the service she neither needed nor asked for.

These companies will continue for as long as there is credit in the account.

How is this fair on the same people we gladly call ‘poor’? Why continuing to knock those who are already down?

The only mobile company that I know of that do not automatically impose callertunes on people’s phone is Etisalat – I know this as my sister uses them.

And by the way Etisalat is partly foreign company too.

If Etisalat can do what is fair and only give callertunes if requested, how hard is it for the likes of MTN and Glo to adopt the same principle?

This is why we have Minister of Communications to be on the side of people and speak on their behalf and to be constantly checking and be sure people get the best deal.

My question for Mr Adebayo Shittu is what is he doing to make sure telecommunication companies have the consent of people before adding chargeable services to their phones?

23 thoughts on “Stop charging unsolicited callertunes

  1. Spot on!

    These companies engage in unfair practices, ripping of the consumers of their hard-earned cash.

    Apart from the unsolicited caller tunes, another annoying matter is those SMS services that deduct a daily charge even when one has not subscribed for the service. Highly inappropriate.

    This sort of behaviour would not be tolerated else where.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you see my points here too. Businesses are there to make money, and if they are allowed, they will go to extreme height to rip people off.

      I agree that this behaviour would not be tolerated elsewhere, I know for sure no network provider would get away with day light robbery like this in the UK

      Liked by 1 person

  2. President, you know my thoughts already on this matter. Unsolicited ring tone abi?
    There’s another one, some funny SMS shows up in your screen as you are chatting or something and if you don’t carefully steer yourself away from it, you will find out that you clicked ‘ok’…meaning you have subscribed to receiving some dumb info every week at N50 or N100/week. For what? Nutritional info…I don’t need.

    Have they seen me? Do they know my body type? If I need to add weight instead! what gives them the right to assume I need to lose weight. Well, that’s MTN for you.

    By the way, I use all 3 wrong network (according to your analysis) and I’ve heard it for years now that Etisalat is it! Hmmm, but ol’ girl don tire for plenty waka waka.

    As for caller back tunes, the crazy songs I hear and they person they are playing it for don’t always tally. I called my King’s phone and ‘Will you marry me?’ was playing as his. When he picked I told him I was already married to him. LOL. imagine all the other men and women hearing that when they call him.
    Absolutely rubbish.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehehe, now you have to get King off that callertunes pronto :).

      What you said about Etisalat “and I’ve heard it for years now that Etisalat is it! Hmmm, but ol’ girl don tire for plenty waka waka” isn’t just you, even me – I had Etisalat (very good numbers) but really can’t be bothered and can’t deal with more than one phone so ditch them but now next time am in town, I am leaving MTN and again the ‘parasite’ has my post paid that I need to finish.

      It is all down to very bad ‘decorative’ government officials, all businesses are there to make money but government is there to make sure they deliver their practices are ethical.

      Imagine millions of Nigerians like my mother who can not read, she is bound to click all the pop up adds.

      On the contrast, in the UK if I received unsolicited pop up adds, they foot the bill as I ‘no send them’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. King couldn’t be bothered becos he didn’t subscribe to them but they are steadily taking their N50 weekly (if you ask me).
        I wish your UK policy can be applied here but you know all the bottle necks and stiff-necked people that won’t pass that bill because of kick-backs etc. When will we grow up and leave all these small change behind. There’s so much to gain from doing what is right.
        It is well o!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Queen, it was a joke about the ‘Will you marry me?’ callertunes :), true, it is needless pain to have to go through the hassle.

          See how they ‘do’ ordinary everyday people, this is why folks need to talk to make sure we forget about the party name wahala and elect someone who will be keen to flesh out all these loopholes.

          I feel you Queen, yes, it is well.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Go joor, I knew it was a joke. LOL. Party and politics don’t mix (pun intended). Politics should be for serious-minded, intelligent and focused people, ready to take on the world for good. Like you!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. I don’t think most people are aware that Etisalat don’t impose automatic callertunes charges as others. If I were Etisalat staff I would use that to take Glo and MTN customers.

      It is getting a lot better in the UK (touch wood) – for now one can use monthly package in the UK while travelling around Europe, also travelling in North America is a lot reasonable than before.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post about our phone networks in Niger…haa…haaa the iya Eleja matter made me laugh! Still it is just not fair to make people pay for what they did not subscribe to. There is one football or so news that i am trying to unsubscribe to but my network refuse to cooperate…see me see wahala…na by force?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abi o, glad I made you laugh – our case often don’t reflect what we preach.
      Please ‘Bisi keep bugging them until they unsubscribe you – if they get away with doing that to you, Baba Alagbede had no chance 🙂


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