Consumers are one step closer to having formalised consumer protection regulations in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The final draft of the proposed regulations are now out for public consultation.
These proposed regulations will apply to ICT service providers and ICT network providers, and seek to ensure their services and networks are reliable, provided with due care and skill and rendered in accordance with the standards reasonably expected of a competent provider of these services.
Alee Fa’amoe, Executive Director ICT at OfReg explained the process: “Transparency and accountability are at the heart of this, and every public consultation process. Regulations are designed to protect the consumer while at the same time creating a healthy competitive environment for the industry, which then, in turn, provides the best value to consumers. With this as a background, you can see how decisions made by OfReg affect different people and organisations in different ways. The consultation process provides all those who will be affected by a regulatory decision the opportunity to provide input.”
The proposed regulations address five key areas that will be of interest to consumers:
They specify requirements of service providers to provide accurate descriptions of the service and other information to consumers, through advertising and any other means.
They detail requirements on how service providers address complaints including handling, tracking and recording procedures.
Terms and conditions of contracts are specified, addressing how they may be amended and in particular how roaming plans are outlined.
Bills are addressed, including what information is to be included on bills, methods by which the consumer can make enquiries about bills and how service providers can address non-payment of an outstanding and undisputed balance on the consumer’s account.
Provision and Repairs
How services and fault repair are addressed, including timeframes, the consumer’s ability to report faults and the provision of notices of planned service disruptions or outages to consumers.
Responses are due to OfReg by 5:00 pm on 31 January 2020 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered to the OfReg headquarters at Alissta Towers, North Sound Road.
To view the consultation paper in full, visit www.ofreg.ky/consultations.