Nigerians Cry Foul over Fraudulent Billings by MTN, Say MTN Cannot Tax Us to Pay its Fine

Nigerians Cry Foul over Fraudulent Billings by MTN, Say MTN Cannot Tax Us to Pay its Fine

mtn logoStill hit by the shockwave of fine of N1.04 trillion by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN Nigeria has visited its frustration on subscribers as the telco has in the last 48 hours been making inexplicable depletion of airtime of its subscribers in what some speculate may be a crooked effort by MTN to recoup the money for the fine.

Many students at the University of Lagos and Lagos State University told our reporters that they have noticed some crazy billing by MTN on their prepaid lines since Sunday. Political Economist learnt from the students who were visibly angry that the secret cheating by MTN has caused them untold pain and frustration. Some said their credit was completely withdrawn for just making a call of two minutes.

Investigation of the cheating by MTN was prompted by the surreptitious depletion of the airtime of the Editor of the magazine with MTN number 08034364524 whose airtime of thousands of naira disappeared inexplicably between Sunday and Monday. The airtime got to zero naira on Monday morning when the editor wanted to make calls and send text messages.

Assured that he has enough credit on his phone, he continued without luck to dial numbers and resend the text message until he checked for the credit status only to discover that the airtime has been cleared by MTN.

To clear the air, the editor loaded airtime of N1,500 and deliberately monitored its management by MTN. “I was shocked when on Tuesday morning, the whole airtime was gone overnight. The billings were not commensurate with calls made and text messages sent. Cost of text message is N4 per text and I challenge MTN to make open how my airtime of over N3000 was exhausted in less than 48 hours at a time my mobile data subscription was still running”, he said.

This fraudulent billing by MTN prompted the investigation of the billing of the beleaguered network in the past couple of days. At the University of Lagos, Akoka some students were visibly angry at the manner MTN was billing them “as though to quickly tax Nigerian subscribers to pay the fine imposed on it by the NCC”.

“I cannot believe what is happening. MTN is billing us as if we are the ones to pay for the fine of $5.2 billion. The regulator should protect the consumers this time. This fraud cannot continue. There must be an end to insanity. This is a case of corporate fraud and it is the duty of NCC to protect the consumers. Go round this campus and you will hear MTN subscribers lamenting”, an angry student who identified himself simply as Femi told our reporter.

At Lagos State University the tale of woe and lamentation was the same. Some students said they have already dropped their MTN lines and have embraced other networks, accusing MTN of arm-twisting subscribers to pay for the fine whose offence they did not commit.

Our reporters observed that other networks would experience a sudden subscriber gain as many MTN subscribers have started porting from MTN.