MTN Uganda refunds all lost data and promises to fight spam SMS

MTN CEO Brian Gouldie Presenting today at Serena Hotel
MTN CEO Brian Gouldie Presenting today at Serena Hotel

Last month was a disaster for MTN Uganda has their subscribers threatened to boycott the network due to poor quality services, spams SMS and unscrupulous data charges.   The company has come out to answer all questions and touch base with their clientele. They have refunded all lost credit to all their data users due to multiple bundle loading.

The company has made it clear that they did not take away money but due to system logic failure, customers were allowed to log more than one request and once the system  normalized, they were credited multiple bundles which in some cases depleted their airtime wallets.

In a Press Conference held early this week , MTN CEO Brian Gouldie informed members of the media that following several upgrades on the system dating back to June of this year, there have been a number incidents that led to intermittent system performance of our data services. This led to MTN customers experiencing either multiple bundle activations, failed but charged activations or delayed bundle activations.

Refunds to a tune of UGX 778 million

FROM OUR SPONSOR- Continue for more content

Yesterday, Mr. Gouldie reported that MTN has proactively refunded all affected customers to a tune of UGX. 778,102,469 of lost airtime. He added that MTN will continue to identify, verify and refund all other similar issues on a case by case basis. In addition to the rebates, MTN has gone further and given data bundles to customers who might have been affected by the intermittent occurrences on MTN’s data services. 281,084 MTN data customers have also received various bundle sizes of MTN’s Mobile Internet bundle types (daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly), to the tune of Ushs. 213,729,050. Combined we have rebated approximately one billion shillings (shs. I Billion) worth of data bundles and airtime.

Mr. Gouldie further commented that,

“MTN has put in place measures to prioritize all data related complaints by attending to related incidents with the highest priority. We acknowledge that in world that is now very dependent on the Internet for new and day to day living, it’s extremely important that service interruptions are avoided as much as possible”.

MTN has in addition committed more resources to fast track the resolution of data complaints. A new twitter handle, has been commissioned to solely focus on resolving customer related queries. All other customer contact points including the 126 toll free data helpline, the Facebook page and our 16 walk in service centres spread across Uganda, 9 of which are in Kampala alone will continue to prioritize all data complaints and provide timely resolutions.

“At MTN, we value the trust the customers have put in our products and services and will stop at nothing to ensure that trust is never betrayed”,

Gouldie said.

Gouldie told journalists that despite the temporary challenges that the brand has experienced with its mobile data solution, MTN remains committed to pioneering tailored solutions that address customer’s needs, in both a responsible but sustainable manner.

“At the heart of our strategy is value for money for our customers and at the same time being able to sustain the operations of the company for the long- term. We strongly believe that Internet access is a Human Right. Since 2010, we have enabled this right for all our customers, regardless of who and where they are in Uganda, by consistently giving them15MB of free Internet every month.”

We believe that this gesture from MTN has recruited many new data users in the country and in the process contributed greatly to the digitization of Uganda’s social and business activities.

New Content Management Solution to fight Spam SMS

Meanwhile, MTN Uganda has also implemented a content management solution. The solution will manage the distribution and billing of content from 3rd party content providers to MTN customers. CMS provides features that will enable MTN customers to accept or stop promotional SMS messages and subscription alerts of various information like current news and sports news, relationship/love tips and service updates among others.

“It’s a top business priority for MTN to focus on driving a positive customer experience across all our services & product portfolios,We are therefore very mindful of the concerns our customers have continued to raise about the spam messages they receive from content providers and hence have taken the initiative to give them the power to take control and choose the messages they receive”.

said Mr. Gouldie.

In addition, MTN is implementing a 30 day expiry and customers will be given an option to select continue if they so wish to continue receiving the subscription notifications.

This solution will in effect put the power in the hands of customers to stop unwanted SMS messages, and to subscribe or unsubscribe to messages of their choice. It will allow customers to opt out of receiving specific messages as identified by a Sender ID – which is the name/number from which these messages are received by a subscriber. Customers will still have the option to keep receiving or subscribing messages about products and services they deem important to them. To use the solution, customers dial *175# and follow prompts. We are also in the process of migrating this functionality to *196#

This solution that has been developed in collaboration with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), is a pro-active first step towards protecting MTN’s customers from spamming and charges they knowingly or unknowingly incur as a result of subscribing to information services/alerts they receive on their mobile handsets.


Source: MTN Press