National Consumer Rights Association of Zimbabwe (NACORA) has called out Potraz and telecommunication service providers on their failure to ensure unused data to roll over and be transferable like airtime, charging exorbitant data tariffs and the ending of default out-of-bundle browsing.
In an open letter to written Potraz, NACORA said that the conditions under which Zimbabwe telecom service providers operate was unethical as they are stealing from already cash strapped poor Zimbabweans.
“We draw our attention to the exorbitant and unjustifiable cost of data and voice calls, default out-of-bundle browsing that steals airtime from the poor, the absence of a provision for unused data roll over despite the fact that one would have failed to use data because the failure of the service provider to provide necessary quality connectivity, and unwarranted restriction on the right to transfer data (my data) like is done with airtime,” said the letter.
NACORA also bemoaned how tariff charges are not in tandem with quality of service delivered.According to the letter both consumers and the wider economy are being robbed, and unfairly benefits the services providers.
However the issues that are raised by NACORA are understandable, but it is also imperative to take into cognisance the fact that increase in tariffs is meant to improve sustainability of the local telecom firms’ businesses and tariffs being charged now are only aligned against the current trading rate.
Not to sound like a derby downer, but the monetary policy is to blame for the misfortunes being experienced by Zimbabweans, and no doubt the prices are likely to continue increasing as the bond note’s devaluation continues.
Nevertheless, data roll over should be implemented, in countries such as South Africa, the Regulator ICASA has changed their End-user and Subscriber Service Charter where end-users do not opt-in or opt-out of out-of-bundle data usage, rather when data bundles deplete, end-users automatically disconnected from out-of-bundle data usage until such a time the end-user gives express consent or authorisation.