Consumers of Communication services:-
Telephone (fixed & wireless), prepaid calling cards, internet services, satellite network services (VSAT domestic services); and postal services who are dissatisfied with services rendered to them by any of the operators has a right and unfettered freedom to redress the situation through lodging of complaints to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) after exploring all possibilities to resolve the matter with the service provider.
Please read carefully the procedures, which are outlined hereunder in form of frequently asked questions and answers.
Question: What is the first thing unsatisfied consumer of communication services should do in order to get his problem solved?
Answer: Consumers should first of all, contact the company agency or service provider whose services or products they are not happy or satisfied with. In event that the service provider does not satisfactorily solve the problem, he can now proceed to file a written complaint with TCRA.
Question: How can a subscriber/Consumers lodge a complaint?
Answer: A complaint to TCRA must be in writing. The complaint must fill in Complaint Forms in triplicates, which must of necessity be readable, clear and to the points(s). Every complaint should be addressed to TCRA as follows:
The Director General,
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority,
Plot 2005/5/1/2, Block C, Sam Nujoma Road
P.O Box 474 Dar Es Salaam
Question: What particulars of the complaint should be furnished along with the complaint ?
Answer: The particulars in the complaint should include complainant contact address (including name, address, phone number, Fax, e-mail) and the problem he/she is facing and its duration. A brief explanation of the circumstances that led to the complaint, name of the service provider and their respective contact address. Please also attach evidence of previous communications with the respective service or goods provider.
Question: What happens when TCRA receives a consumer complaint?
Answer: The complaint is analysed and investigated immediately. TCRA has an established and dedicated Consumer Affairs Unit (CCU) to handle complaints in communication sector. This unit reaches out to the service provider complained against with the aim of investigating the complaint. If the CCU is satisfied that the service provider breached terms of its contract with the consumer, or acted contrary to its licence and or TCRA regulations, the Authority shall take appropriate action without delay which in most instances will get the service provider to amend the situation .
Question: Will TCRA Consumer Affairs Unit get back to the customer who lodged a complaint?
Answer: Yes of course. In the first instance the unit has the obligation of acknowledging receipt of the complaint and advising the consumer on the steps being taken. When investigations are concluded, feedback will be communicated to the complainant in writing within thirty to sixty days.
Question: Do I have to pay for the services of the Consumer Affairs Unit?
Answer: No! The services of the complaints handling are rendered FREE OF CHARGE. “So take advantage of us, so that we can help you.”
Question: Can an aggrieved consumer sue the service provider in a court of law over a breach of contract?
Answer: No. The Act that established the TCRA requires that all complaints relating to consumption of communications goods and services should be addressed through the TCRA and are appeal able to Fair Competition Tribunal (FCT) whose decision is final. However at the TCRA, dialogue and peaceful negotiations are preferred and should be fully explored before resorting to protracted and costly litigation. TCRA's mandate is to work out an amicable resolution of differences and disputes between services providers and consumers.
Question: What issues can customers complain about?
Answer: These include the following amongst others:
• Wrong bills,
• Arbitrary disconnection of lines,
• Nonchalant attitude towards genuine complaints,
• Poor service delivery,
• Untruthful and deceptive advertisements,
• Supply of sub-standard equipment,
• Bare-fare exploitation
• Intrusion of privacy,
• Violation or non delivery of mail,
• Delayed restoration of service,
• Unreliable service, etc.
Question: Do customers have any responsibilities/Obligations?
Answer: Yes! Whereas consumers have got rights, they too have obligations to fulfil. Their Obligations and responsibilities include
• Prompt payment of bills,
• Ensuring that utilisation of communications services is not in a manner hazardous to the environment or other users,
• Respect contracts and SLAs.
Question: Is TCRA a Government agency?
Answer: Yes! TCRA is a government agency with independent status to effectively regulate the activities of operators, suppliers, and consumers in the communications sector.