The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) found that almost 70% of retail stores that sell mobile smartphones and packages, are not complaint with Icasa’s rules and regulations in terms of the Electronic Communications Service (ECS) licensees’ Regulations on Code of Conduct for Licensees of 2007.
“The Regulations prescribe guidelines on the standard of conduct to be adhered to by licensees in their interactions with consumers and set out the rights of consumers in the electronic communications sector. Icasa officials inspected 162 retail outlets across the country through which consumers obtain mobile services,” it detailed in a press statement.
While it sounds like almost 70% of retail outlets flagrantly flout Icasa guidelines, the news isn’t actually as bad as it first seems.
According to the Authority, the biggest transgression by retail outlets is not displaying the Code of Conduct in public.
“The key area of non-compliance relates to the availability and visibility of the Code of Conduct in the retail outlets. This requirement is set out in terms of clause 3.2 of the Regulations. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the outlets inspected were non-compliant,” the report said.
Drilling it further down, it said that “just under two thirds of the outlets did not have the consumer complaints process displayed in full view of their customers.”
The second issue was that the Code of Conduct was not available for printing in English and at least one or more official languages. “In the majority of outlets (57%), the code could not be made available in all official languages as per the requirements of clause 3.3 of the Regulations.”
Vodacom was the most compliant on this measure (46% non-compliance), followed by Telkom at 50% non-compliance.
“The Authority views the level of non-compliance in a serious light and to this end, has issued an instruction to all licensees to remedy areas of non-compliance by the 30th June 2016. Failure to do so will result in the institution of enforcement action.”