Airtel, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya will be fined for delaying Customer Care Calls

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Kenyan telecommunications providers, like Safaricom and Airtel, will face fines for delaying customer care calls, according to a new draft published last week by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The new draft rules forwarded for public comment could see telcos face up to KES 300,000 fine per breach. And also a jail term of up to three years.

“Any person who contravenes any regulation made under this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh300,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both,” Section 27 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act 1998 states.

According to the draft, customers should not wait on the call queue for more than 15 seconds. CA says the 15 seconds window also “includes the hold time where Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is used for the management of call queues.”

The regulator also wants telcos to provide customer care services 24/7, or 99.9 percent at the minimum. Moreover, customer complaints will have to be resolved within two weeks.

CA has also put forward a couple of other new proposals in the draft. The regular says promotion and marketing SMS should only be sent between 7 am and 7 pm. Else, telcos can only send such messages with customer consent, or if the message is in line with a customer request.

Subscribers will also have the power to seek their monthly charges on call traffic and pricing.

The regulator also seeks to bar telcos from reassigning SIM cards with unresolved issues to new subscribers.

The new draft rules are subject to approval.

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