Affirmation of Customer’s Legal Rights.
Nothing in this Code of Practice detracts from a Customer’s statutory or common law rights in his relationship with inq. Digital Nigeria Limited, nor does anything herein constitute or form part of any contract between inq. Digital Nigeria Limited and the Customer.
inq. Digital Nigeria Limited’s Customer Mandate
inq. strongly believes and focus on meeting and exceeding established customer satisfaction standards and thus, pledged itself to respond to the needs of customers in a professional and proactive manner.
Objectives of the Code of Practice
The Code of Practice is a detailed and practical expression of the spirit of our Customer Mandate as outlined in Section 1.2 above. It highlights the strategies and policies which have been adopted by inq. to ensure that its Customers derive optimal benefits from its services. These policies have been built into subheads.
Quality of service
inq. Digital Nigeria Limited shall comply with the Quality of Service standards which may be developed for the industry by the Nigerian Communications Commission. This is however without prejudice to our commitment to delivering service of the very highest quality to its Customers.
Provision of information to consumers
inq. Digital Nigeria Limited is committed to providing complete, accurate, and up-to-date information on its current products and services, as well as tariffs and rates where applicable. Such information will be provided free of charge to our customers and accessible through any of; all inq. shops, dealer and franchise outlets where our products are made available to the public, by electronic mail to CSOCNG@inq.inc, by telephone to 01 7000700, on the website at www.ng.inq.inc, by surface mail addressed to; The Executive Head; Business Development, inq. Digital Nigeria Limited, 3A, Aja Nwachukwu Close, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Information on tariff changes Requiring Customer Participation
Telecommunications service tariffs are subject to regulation by the NCC. Where any law or regulation then in force requires the input of customers before tariffs are changed, inq. will provide its customers with sufficient information to enable them to participate as required. Therefore, inq. will inform prospective customers if there is any contractual warranty relating to products (in the case of equipment purchase) supplied for use in connection with a service offered by us. In such a case, the customer will be informed of a) the specific maintenance services available, b)Procedure for obtaining warranty service including c) how and where to obtain warranty service if needed.
Information Regarding Contract
inq. will ensure that prospective customers receive full information on the terms and conditions applicable to the service before the service is provided.
Advertising and representation services
inq. Digital Nigeria Limited is fully committed to complying with the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON)’s Code of Advertising Practice, NCC Regulations, and applicable Rules, Regulations and/or Guidelines made by the Consumer Protection Council.
Protection of consumer information
inq. will treat all consumer information or personal data that we obtain on our customers as confidential. We shall only use such information for the improvement of our services and shall ensure that any of our business partners to whom the information is provided treats it with the same high level of confidentiality. Therefore, inq. undertakes to abide by the strictest standards of confidentiality with respect to the disclosure of such information and states herein that such consumer information shall only be made available in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and with the laid down processes and procedures outlined below:
- All external requests for subscriber information shall be addressed to The Executive Head: Legal and Regulatory Services inq. Digital Nigeria Limited, 3A, Aja Nwachukwu Close, Ikoyi, Lagos. This office shall verify such request and confirm that it is in strict compliance with the NCC Enforcement Regulations of 2004. In particular, every request must be in writing from the relevant authority and be signed by an officer of the Nigerian Police Force, not below the substantive rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent in any of the relevant authorities
- inq. through its Fraud Management Team (FMT) shall treat all requests routed to it through the aforementioned office. The FMT shall retrieve the subscribers‟ data and forward the same to the Regulatory Affairs Directorate within five working days of receipt of the request by the FMT. The FMT shall inform the Directorate of any technical reason or other reasons if it is unable to provide the requested information.
- Where a customer’s information is to be disclosed to third parties (other than statutory, legal, regulatory or law enforcement agencies), inq. will inform customers at the point of collection of such information that the information is collected may be shared with third parties, and that the customer shall at all times be entitled to exercise an option to request inq. not to share the said information with such third parties, or to limit the nature of the information that inq. may share with the third party
- inq. shall take all necessary steps within its ability to ensure that consumer information collected, maintained or used shall be accurate, relevant and current for the purpose for which it is required. inq. shall establish processes to identify out of date information and verify information collected and maintained.
Consumer billing, charging, collection and credit practices
This section describes inq. Digital Nigeria Limited’s Customer billing, charging, collection and credit practices are in line with the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC) General Consumer Code of Practice. inq.’s policy on Customer billing, charging, collection and credit practices covers the following areas;
- Assurance of billing availability, accuracy, timeliness & completeness.
- Standard practice for handling Customer bills and charges
- Processes guiding the bill delivery & retention, billing period and delayed bills.
- Guidelines for billing enquiries, Customer complaints, penalties for non-payment of bills.
- All billing enquiries shall be directed to the Accounts Receivables Manager or inq.’s Customer Account Manager either in writing or via telephone on 01 700 0700; 01 700 7000 or email addresses stated on the relevant invoice.
- Customer shall not be charged for bills or billing-related information, except where the Customer requests information not provided under the NCC General Code of Practice or requests for bills or a record of related charges more than 12 months old. Provided always that where a Customer has not paid all or part of a bill for services provided, any measure taken by inq. shall be proportionate and not unduly discriminatory, and be accompanied by an appropriate warning to the Customer in advance of any resulting service interruption or disconnection as well as Confine any service interruption or disconnection to the service(s) concerned, as far as technically feasible.
- “Appropriate warning” means a notice in writing, giving the customer notice of service interruption or disconnection delivered via email, or by letter addressed to the customer at his last known address. The notice shall also confirm the time frame within which the customer is to make payment of the outstanding amount; such time frame not being less than the time frame stated in the customer’s service contract with inq. in accordance with agreed compensation table in the relevant Service Level Agreement.
Complaints handling procedures
- To ensure that Information on inq.’s complaint processes is provided in various media as well as a dispute resolution process in place, including the right of the Customer to refer any complaint to the NCC if dissatisfied with the resolution of the complaint by inq.
- This provision shall hold for all queries where internal competencies abound for resolution. Where the resolution of a query is dependent on the input of a third-party service provider (e.g. network element, value-added service or service provisioning interfaces), the resolution would be dependent on Service Level Agreements (SLAs) agreed with the service provider but however subject to the timelines which are provided by the Commission in its Quality of Service Regulations.
- Where a Customer is not satisfied with the resolution process provided by inq. he/she is free to escalate his/her complaints to The Executive Head; Business Development or to the Managing Director. Upon exhaustion of all aforementioned options to resolve the complaint(s) and a subscriber is still not satisfied within 60 days, such subscriber is at liberty to escalate his grievance(s) to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
- Where a subscriber who is required to present themselves physically at inq. Customer care centre or Strategic Distribution Partner help desk is unable to do so; a letter of authorisation and photocopy of identification to an authorised person will suffice. For other special needs and physically impaired subscribers, inq. Contact Centers and Web Channels are optimised to meet their needs through speech and visual support.
- Refunds on claims are made in accordance with Customer Service Level Agreements not later than 24 hours after due investigation and verification processes carried out to ascertain such claims are concluded.
- All Customers who have exhausted the inq. dispute resolution mechanism and are still dissatisfied with the outcome may apply to the NCC for arbitration of the matter in dispute and shall comply strictly with the provisions of the aforementioned Guidelines. Provided, that such an aggrieved Customer will, however, be required to indicate his preferred avenue for the resolution of the dispute.
- Complaints by trade partners shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the trade or other agreement between inq. and the concerned trade partner. Such complaints shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the relevant statutory and regulatory instruments (including, but not limited to the Competition Practices Regulations for the time being in force).
- inq. realises that the availability of a telephone is critical to successful emergency management. inq.’s has provided Emergency telephone lines which its subscribers can access free of charge. These lines are connected to a Centre which operates 24 hours a day with capabilities to connect the subscriber to any of the following public emergency services:
- Police service
- Ambulance services
- Fire Brigade Services
- inq. will provide an access number to its customers for the provision of Directory Information Services and enquiries. A reasonable fee will, however, be charged for such services. The Directory Information Services Scheme will provide access to Directory Information on inq. service subscribers who elect to have such information about them to be so listed.
- Consistent with its commitment to ensuring full compliance with all statutory and regulatory instruments, inq. shall extend full co-operation to the Nigerian Communications Commission in its investigation activities pursuant to Part 3 of Chapter V and other relevant provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act and other instruments in that regard.
Service levels and compensation plan
- The following are the average timelines for the resolution of customer queries. As noted above, these time frames may vary depending on the circumstances of each complaint:
- Fault in inq. facility provided by automatic switching  Seconds.
- Fault in inq. facility provided by manual patching:  Minutes.
- Fault requiring inq.Facility replacement with on-site spare equipment:  minutes during office hours [240 – 360] minutes at other times.
- Upon resolution of a complaint, inq. shall reimburse the Customer in accordance with the agreed compensation table in the relevant Service Level Agreement;
|Achieved Availability||Discount on Monthly Circuit Charge|
|Where Achieved Availability is less than Target Service Availability by 1%||1%|
|Where Achieved Availability is less than Target Service Availability by 2.0%||2%|
|Where Achieved Availability is less than Target Service Availability by 3.0%||3%|
|Where Achieved Availability is less than Target Service Availability by 4.0%||4%|
|Where Achieved Availability is less than Target Service Availability by 5.0%||5%|
- The following are the average timelines for the resolution of customer queries requiring travel to Customer remote sites. As noted above, these time frames may vary depending on the circumstances of each complaint.
- Meantime to respond (reach the site) for faults requiring on-site attention shall be as detailed in the MTTR Table Below;
|SITES BY CITIES||TIME TO SITE|
|Kaduna, Jos, Benin, Sapele, Oshogbo, Warri, Akure, Abeokuta, Ondo, Onitsha, Owerri, Asaba, Nnewi, Awka, Enugu, Umuahia, Eket, Bonny, Abakaliki, Calabar, Ikom, Sapele, Uyo, Ughelli, Nsukka, Gboko, Oturkpo, Orlu, Asaba, Mbaise, Agbor, Ikot Ekpene, Ilesha, Ijebu Ode, Ogbomoso, Saki, Abeokuta, Ekpoma, Akure, Bida, Ore, Kotangora, Potiskum, Gombe,||12 hours|
|Hadejia, Maiduguri, Kano, Uromi, Auchi, Gusau, Jalingo, Minna, Funtua, Birnin-Kebbi, Katsina, Yola, Gombe, Lafia, Argungu, Ikot Abasi, Ammamosa, Lapai, Sokoto, Mubi, Azare, Wukari, Kafanchan, Bauchi||24 hours|
|Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and any other cities with inq. major POP||4 hours|
|Ibadan, Aba, Zaria, Ahaoda, Eleme, Ota, Shagamu, Suleja,||6 hours|
This will not be calculated where faults are reported to include any hours on any day where the fault is reported later than 3:00 pm on a workday or 12 noon on a work-free day, and for sites in Lagos, PH and Abuja not later than 4:00 pm on workdays and 2:pm on a work-free day.
inq. will at all times ensure full compliance with the responsibilities set out above.
- To enable us to provide the highest quality of service to our customers, inq. will request its esteemed customers to faithfully comply with relevant statutory and regulatory instruments governing the use of telecommunications facilities. For the purpose of this Code of Consumer Practice, the following obligations have been highlighted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
- Customers are bound by inq. ’s terms of service which they have signed and returned to inq. or which they have clearly accepted, either by accepting the terms of service or by receiving service after its terms have been provided to the customer.
- Customers will provide inq. or its authorised representatives, without charge, access to premises, equipment or facilities as reasonably required for any provisioning or maintenance of the services, equipment or facilities.
- Customers shall not use any equipment or related facilities provided by inq. for reasons other than those related to normal service and shall not do anything that interferes with the functioning of such equipment or facilities without prior written authorisation from inq. Consumers shall be responsible for any loss of or damage to equipment or facilities that result from actions contrary to their service terms of this Code.
- Equipment owned by inq. and connected to a telecommunications network may not be moved to a location or address other than the location or address where service was installed without prior written authorisation from inq. This restriction shall not apply to any equipment that is accompanied by operating instructions indicating that it may be disconnected and reconnected as part of its normal use.
- Modification or attachment of any unauthorised device to inq.’s equipment or facilities is prohibited without prior written authorisation from inq.
- The installation of any equipment or device that interferes in any way with the normal operation of a telecommunications service, including any equipment or device that intercepts or assists in intercepting or receiving any service offered by inq. requires special authorisation from the NCC. Installation of such equipment by or on behalf of any customer without the necessary authorisation is prohibited. Customers are not authorised to re-sell any service provided by inq. without its formal authorisation, and (in the case of services requiring licensing authorisation of the NCC), except such licensing authorisation is first received.
- Customers shall not misuse public telecommunications services, including by (a) dishonestly obtaining telecommunications services; or (b) possessing or supplying equipment that may be used to obtain such services dishonestly or fraudulently; or (c) using services to send messages that are obscene, threatening or otherwise contrary to applicable laws or regulation.
- The NCC forbids the act of “dishonest churning”, which takes place when a customer accumulates payment arrears with one service provider then switches service to another provider without settling payment with the previous provider. Customers are therefore required to settle all valid payment arrears before switching to another service provider. To this end, service providers are permitted to investigate if a person seeking their services has settled with his or her previous supplier before having any obligation to provide service to that person.