PROTECTING COMMUNICATIONS CONSUMERS

The Consumer Affairs Office acknowledges receipt and conducts a preliminary assessment of the complaint

A key objective of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is to protect the interests and rights of the consumer in the communications sector through an effective regulatory regime. In line with this, UCC established a Consumer Affairs Unit to ensure a forum for aggrieved consumers of communication services to have their issues resolved and were appropriate offer redress.

Complaints process

The commission has in the execution of this mandate established an elaborate complaints management process (See the entire process here; http://bit.ly/2IzD2OP) that ensures consumer redress and acts as a source of feedback for regulatory policy and interventions. “Under this process, aggrieved consumers are required to first lodge their complaints with the respective service providers before escalation to UCC, which only deals with complaints that have not been resolved in the first instance by the service provider.

On receipt of a complaint, UCC through its consumer affairs office acknowledges receipt and conducts a preliminary assessment of the complaint to establish jurisdiction, exhaustion of the service providers redress systems and merit of the complaint.

In some cases, the complainant may be required to submit additional evidence or documentation to support his or her claims. The complaint will be escalated to the appropriate technical office within the commission were necessary for further investigation or back to the relevant service provider for a response or resolution if the commission feels that the service provider should have resolved the complaint in the first place.

Throughout this period, UCC provides continuous updates to the complainant on resolution progress of the complaint. The requirement under the law is for complaints to be resolved within 30 days. However, UCC endeavours to resolve all complaints as expeditiously as possible with an average resolution time of five working days depending on the complexity and nature of the complaint and the amount of investigation required.

The commission has various contact channels available to consumers including phone, email, social media, and courier as well as regional offices in Mbarara, Masindi, Mbale and Gulu.

Resolution

In cases where the claims levelled against a service provider are established, UCC may suggest any range of remedies including:

  • A refund of monies lost.
  • Fixing the specific problem.
  • An apology when the complainant is justified.
  • An expression of sympathy for the client’s situation.
  • Improving the aspect of the service that led to the complaint.
  • Offering to reduce the charge or undertake work to rectify the situation free of charge.

Uganda Communications Commission; UCC House; Plot 42-44 Spring Road, Bugolobi; P. O. Box 7376, Kampala; Phone: +256-41-4339000, +256-31-2339000; Toll-Free: 0800 222 777; Email: ucc@ucc.co.ug, Website: http://www.ucc.co.ug

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