NIGERIA – Barely 24 hours after Airtel Nigeria started billing its customers N5 for every 20 seconds spent while carrying out a USSD bank transaction, the telecommunication company has discontinued the charges.
Our correspondent learnt that Airtel customers can now make transactions free of charge, using bank USSD.
OgeneAfrican had reported on Wednesday that Airtel Nigeria had hitherto been charging its customers for using bank USSD, despite the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that no telecommunication company should charge customers for using bank USSD
It was learnt that Airtel had on Wednesday billed a customer (name withheld) N15 for carrying out a transaction using the Wema Bank *945#.
Contacted, an Airtel customer care agent, told our correspondent in a message that the organisation charges N5 for every 20 second spent using USSD.
But the organisation seems to have bowed to pressure and public outcry that greeted the report as it has stopped charging customers for making transactions with bank codes.
On Friday morning, Airtel customers told DAILY POST that the service provider did not deduct from their airtime when they made use of USSD for bank transactions.
Confirming the new development, a customer care agent said: “Before now, we charged N4.89K for USSD bank transactions, but this has been discontinued since yesterday. If you experience it after yesterday, please call us back. Before yesterday, we were charging for bank transactions with USSD, but not again.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to sanction mobile network operators (MNOs) making deductions for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services from subscribers.
The Minister stated that after receiving briefing about the USSD charges, he realised there was no justification for the new tariff, hence, the order for its immediate suspension.
He threatened that any telco violating the directive would be sanctioned appropriately.
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