December 10, 2022

The Political Chronicle

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Ivory Coast: Lawsuits filed against telephone companies

Posted by AFP on 12.11.2021 at 8:25 pm

The Ivorian deputy, Assalé Tiémoko, announced Friday in Abidjan legal action against mobile phone companies for “illegal practices.”

“To put an end to these practices, we have decided to take massive action against all mobile operators operating in Code de Ivory, and this is in accordance with Section 176 of the 2012 Ordinance,” Deputy Asale Timoco told reporters.

In the event of a dispute with the operator regarding service interruption, billing issue or failure to comply with the repair deadline, the user should first contact the operator’s customer service or service provider.

He may seek advice on his practices through a consumer association or attorney. Additionally, if the procedures fail, the user can contact the ARTCI (Regulator) on request.

“We will put an information sheet online in a few days, following which we are going to file five hundred to one thousand requests into the hands of the operators,” he pointed out.

According to Tiassalé’s deputy mayor, “there is evidence that mobile phone companies have stolen hundreds of billions of FCFAs from the pockets of millions of consumers without the consent of the latter.”

“If nothing is done to protect Ivorians, why should these practices (compulsory subscriptions and withdrawal, harassment, retrieval of purchased internet data, unsubscribing, immediate subscription after successful subscription) be discontinued,” he said.

In a few weeks, he intends to file with unions and lawyers “massive demands for a refund of money misappropriated from the pockets of consumers.”

The procedure includes “payment of compensation through legal action, for losses incurred”. “These mobile phone companies will not refund the stolen money because they are exempt from the total penalty and are not afraid of anything and will not respect anything,” he said.

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“Therefore, I call on all victims to unite to lead this struggle. This fight will be tough and long but we will win in the end because the only fight we are sure to lose is the one we did not lead, ”he said.

He also called on “mobile phone companies to stop this looting immediately and no longer subject Ivory men, especially our people in rural areas, to forced subscriptions.”

“These abuses can no longer continue, and we will fight with strength and determination to end them,” concluded the deputy mayor of Thiasaley, south of Cte d’Ivoire.

The announcement follows an ARTCI statement that “operators have failed to meet certain obligations based on the quality of service provided in their specifications”.