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How MTN Scammed Me – Final Outcome

July 4, 2010

This is a follow-up to my earlier piece "How MTN Scammed Me", and its purpose is to communicate the outcome of the issues I raised in my earlier piece to my brothers and sisters on SR. I also want to apologize for the delay in reporting the outcome, because I believe we will not only be showing the results of the great work that SR is doing, but will also educate Nigerians on the need to exercise their rights when these rights are being trampled upon.
Well, I got a call from the MTN Regional Office in Ibadan, less than 20 minutes after the piece was posted on SR. I will also like to say that I was surprised by MTN’s very cordial tone, and I will like to commend MTN for the prompt action. MTN also advised the dealer BODLINKS, to suspend the Office Manager involved pending their investigation into my complaints. I was asked to come in and meet with one of their Regional Execs. The meeting was very cordial, and I was pleasantly surprised, against the backdrop of people’s comments that MTN will not listen to me. People, MTN not only listened to me, I was even offered cold water to drink. Additionally, my N10,000 was credited to me, I thanked the MTN Exec and went my way.

Here are some take-aways from this experience and my meeting.  First, MTN actually has a budget to take care of legitimate customer complaints, needless to say that this budget always goes unspent, because Nigerians never complaint, because we think nothing will come out of it. How long will we ordinary Nigerians continue to subsidize a multinational like MTN? Food for thought.

Secondly, I noted that MTN has done a shoddy job of communicating the appropriate channel of settling customer complaints to their dealers, for instance, I realized that MTN dealers did not even know that MTN will pay for legitimate customer complaints. During our meeting, the MTN Exec showed me a dealer training program that they were planning to roll-out. Hopefully, this training has been completed, and MTN dealers are now better informed on how to handle customer complaints.

The third point which I argued with the MTN Exec is the decision of MTN to have the very expensive Pay-As-You-Go as the default option for its internet service, while expecting the customer to activate the service they have paid for. My suggestion to the MTN Exec is that the customer should be prompted to activate whichever service was paid for, and the service should not work until it is activated. All that needs to be done is a simple change or addition of a line of code in their billing system.

The fourth point is an appeal to customers of service companies like MTN. Without our patronage, they cannot and will not exist, and if we all do nothing in the face of injustice, these companies will continue to take Nigerians for granted. I understand that a lot of Nigerians are so disillusioned about their country, to the extent that they do not think they have any rights to exercise, but I also believe that to change that, Nigerians must be willing to ask questions and seek to exercise their rights, even when it is not convenient.

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