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MTN Customers Petition UCC Over ‘Exorbitant’ Charges

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the regulator of Uganda’s telecoms sector has asked MTN Uganda to explain its recent changes in pricing. This is after a number of MTN subscribers petitioned the regulator over what they termed as unclear and exorbitant changes.

In a letter dated Jul7, 2017, UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi asks MTN to submit its update charges of all platforms to the Commission before close of business on July12, 2017 (today).

A copy of UCC’s letter to MTN

UCC accuses MTN of implementing the charges without getting approval from the regulator.

“A preliminary assessment of the current pricing for your retail services indicates that there have been changes in your pricing of voice and data offerings.  These changes were never communicated to the Commission prior to their implementation,” Mutabazi says in the letter.

He adds: “The Commission now directs that you submit the most update schedule of retail pricing for all regulated services and products available on the MTN platform (s).”

UCC also asks MTN to give reasons for all the recent price changes.

It is worth noting that MTN recently revised its Mobile Money rates as well as voice and data. These changes didn’t go down well with many subscribers, with many of them taking to the social media platforms to express their dissatisfaction.

Mobile Money Rates Explained

Asked why MTN Uganda increased Mobile Money rates, Justina Ntabgoba, the Senior Manager- Corporate Affairs at MTN Uganda said that they wanted to increase the accessibility of the service by decreasing the cost to cash-out for the transactions that are the most common like the tier of Shs5001 – 15,000.

“To balance this price decrease we have increased some of the tariffs on higher tiers of cash-out,” Ntabgoba said in an exclusive interview with Business Focus.

“The aim of this is to balance out the costs per transaction to reduce the amount for the lower tier amounts which cover most of our customer base and increase the amounts for the higher tier amounts that are used by a less number of people. Likewise, for Pier to Pier, we have decreased the rates up to 100% in all tiers that are the most used by the clients,” she added.

Ntabgoba explained that MTN Uganda is committed in helping Ugandan society to move to a cash-less economy.

“To reach this objective, we will regularly decrease the cost of the transactions performed from your electronic wallet. This tariff adjustment is going into this direction, we have decreased the costs according to the current use of the service,” she said, adding:

“We are also committed to continue with investments on the Mobile Money platform to increase the features and services available to our customers.”




Richard Kamya
Richard is a Digital Communication Specialist and an Entrepreneur

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