Telcos to engage stakeholders on airtime looting

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The Telecommunications Industry is set to meet with stakeholders on February 1, 2022, in a quest to find a remedy to cases of airtime looting among the various networks in the country.

It has come to the fore that the various telcos have been engaging in a partnership business that seeks to generate revenue through sending some unsolicited messages to customers across the networks.

As a result, some percentage of airtime is deducted from the customer at the point of purchase to defray the cost of the service provided in the form of messages sent to the recipients.

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These messages cut across all areas including health, religion, sports, horoscope, weather, lifestyle, motivational quotes among others.

The Chief Executive officer of the Telecommunication Industry, Ken Ashigbey, said on the Anopa Bofoↄ morning show that the telcos have been cleaning up the system on their own periodically as part of efforts to curb the issue of financial loss to the customers.

Ken Ashigbey
Ken Ashigbey is CEO of Ghana Telecommunications Chamber

“They [Telcos] check monthly expenditure on their services and where the expenses are directed towards. So if [for example] 50% of the cost goes to these value-added services [unsolicited messages] it raises suspicion that the value-added service might be a problem so they clean them up themselves.”

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He also noted that changes have been effected on how their customers are signed onto some of the services. According to him, the users of the networks have an option to confirm the services advertised on platforms they may be using.

“Sometimes when you visit websites, there are links embedded in them where if you click on them, they attempt to sign you on [to the services].

“Right now, we don’t allow that sign on. There will be a second stage to confirm that you actually want this to happen” said Mr. Ken Ashigbey.

Meanwhile, steps have been outlined by the various telcos to help customers unsubscribe from the value-added services.

Below are the steps:

MTN

  1. The customer can dial the shortcode *175# and send.
  2. Select 1, My subscriptions
  3. You will see the list of subscriptions and an option that says unsubscribe all
  4. If you want to unsubscribe from all select the option. Otherwise, you select the one you want to unsubscribe and follow the prompts. Then you repeat the process for each of them.

AirtelTigo

  1. Dial *100# and send
  2. Select option 4 Content Manager
  3. Select Deactivate Subscription
  4. It will take you to the hidden subscriptions and then you select the one you want to deactivate and follow the prompts.

Vodafone

  1. Dial *463# and send
  2. Select 1, my Subscriptions
  3. Select 1 view subscriptions
  4. Out of the list of subscriptions, you see select 1 and Send
  5. You will see check price and 2 unsubscribe
  6. Select 2 Unsubscribe and follow the prompts.

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