In this Code we aim to comply with the principles outlined in various legislation including the Nigerian Communication Act 2003, Schedule 1 of the Consumer Code of Practice Regulation, 2007 and the Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria Code of Conduct Version 1.0 2008-07-04.
About TextNigeria Limited
TextNigeria Ltd, is an established Wireless Application Service Provider. TextNigeria Ltd. was granted licence by the Nigerian Communications Commission to provide Value Added Services within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We strive to be the most reliable and creative mobile solutions provider in Nigeria, delivering high standards of quality and value to our customers.
1 Objectives of the Code of Conduct
The primary objective of the TextNigeria Code of Conduct is to ensure that members of the public can use mobile services with confidence, assured that they will be provided with accurate information about all services and the pricing associated with those services. The Code aims to equip customers and consumers with a mechanism for addressing any concerns or complaints relating to services provided by TextNigeria and response to any complaints made.
2 Revisions to the Code of Conduct
In order to ensure that this Code of Conduct remains relevant in the face of constantly evolving technology, the provisions of the Code are reviewed regularly. The latest version of the TextNigeria Code of Conduct is always available on www.textnigeria.com
3 Scope of the Code
Unless otherwise specified, this Code of Conduct applies to all wireless application services accessed by a customer in Nigeria, transmitted by TextNigeria and carried by a Nigerian network operator.
4 Existing agreements with operators
As well as complying with this Code, TextNigeria must also comply with any existing contracts and agreements they have with network operators.
The terms below have the following meanings throughout this document:
An “adult service” is any service where the content or product is of a clearly sexual nature, or any service for which the associated promotional material is of a clearly sexual nature, or indicates directly, or implies that the service is of a sexual nature.
An “adult content service” is any service for the provision of content which has been classified as suitable only for persons 18 years or older by an appropriate body (such as the Film and Publications Board), or content reasonably likely to be so classified.
A “beneficiary” is a charity or organisation benefiting from a charitable promotion.
A “charitable promotion” is any promotion which has a primary goal of benefiting a registered charitable organisation.
A “child” refers to a natural person under 18 years of age.
A “commercial message” is a message sent by SMS or MMS or similar protocol that is designed to promote the sale or demand of goods or services whether or not it invites or solicits a response from a recipient.
A “competition service” is any competition or game with prizes or entry mechanism draw.
“Commission” means the Nigerian Communications Commission and its successor
A “content subscription service” includes any subscription service providing or offering access to content including, by way of example only and not limitation: sound clips, ring tones, wallpapers, images, videos, games, text or MMS content or information.
A “customer” is a user of a mobile cellular telecommunications service that has indicated a willingness to access or utilise a service provided by a wireless application service provider.
An “information or service provider” is any person on whose behalf a wireless application service provider may provide a service, and includes message originators.
A “keyword” is any word used in an SMS or MMS sent by a customer to request a service.
A “message originator” is the entity sending a commercial message and can be any person or organisation with a commercial arrangement with TextNigeria to send messages.
A “network operator” is a mobile cellular telecommunication service provider, or any other category of telecommunication service provider as determined by TextNigeria
The “originating number” is the number allocated to the TextNigeria by the network operator from which a commercial message is sent.
A “person” means any natural or legal person.
A “premium-rated service” is any service charged at a higher rate than the standard rate set by the network operator for that particular service.
“Spam” means unsolicited commercial communications, including unsolicited commercial messages as referred to in section 5.2.1.
A “subscription service” is any service for which a customer is billed on a repeated, regular basis without necessarily confirming each individual transaction.
“TextNigeria website” refers to the Internet web site located at www.textnigeria.com
A “wireless application service provider” is any person engaged in the provision of a mobile service, including premium-rated services, who signs a WASP contract with a network operator for bearer services enabling the provision of such services.
6 General provisions
a. Professional and lawful conduct
i) TextNigeria will at all times conduct themselves in a professional manner in their dealings with the public and customers.
ii) TextNigeria is committed to lawful conduct at all times.
b. Freedom of expression
i) TextNigeria respects the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.
7 Service Levels
a) TextNigeria will not offer or promise services that they are unable to provide.
b) Provision of services must not be unreasonably prolonged or delayed. However where TextNigeria encounters any problem which interferes with the provision of services, any delay in the provision of the said services will be subject to any time or process of rectification allowed by the Commission.
c) TextNigeria is not liable for any failure to provide a service due to circumstances beyond its control. Such circumstance includes but is not limited to the readiness of premises and the availability of infrastructure or equipment.
d) TextNigeria shall not be responsible for any delays or refusal of service requests caused by any customer being identified as not creditworthy.
8 Service Contracts
a) Contracts for the provision of services shall be written in plain and clear language and shall be made available to customers upon request and shall contain the following information regarding the term:
i. the commencement date of the contract;
ii. what the minimum contract term is, if applicable;
iii. where applicable, the minimum contract period and the manner and consequences of termination;
iv. the situations where early termination is possible;
v. the amount or method of calculating any charges payable upon early termination;
vi. the conditions and terms of renewal of the contract, if applicable;
vii. the conditions and terms of disconnection and reconnection and fees that may be charged for disconnection or reconnection;
viii. terms and conditions that may apply to refund of any deposit including timing and any deductions or charges applicable;
ix. terms and conditions relating to situations that may give rise to the interruption, withdrawal or discontinuation of the service; and
x. terms and conditions relating to the delivery, installation or activation of the service.
b) Before entering into a contract for any service, Consumers shall be provided a complete description of the service in clear and plain language, avoiding unnecessary technical terms. Where other services are required in order to effectively utilize the service, the Consumer shall be sufficiently informed of such requirements or service dependencies.
c) TextNigeria shall also provide information on the service quality levels offered, the waiting time for initial connection and any service areas and coverage maps if applicable.
d) TextNigeria shall provide specific information regarding any compensation, refund or other arrangements which may apply if contracted quality service levels are not met, along with the procedures and methods for resolving disputes in respect of the service contract.
e) Where services are packaged with one or more other services or products, TextNigeria shall provide the Consumer in relation to each service or product:
i. A description of each component service or product, and where TextNigeria sells the service or product component separately, the price that TextNigeria would charge for the component on a stand-alone basis; and
ii. For services that are bundled with services from third parties, TextNigeria shall be fully responsible for the effective performance of the entire package including service support, maintenance, complaints handling, dispute resolution and other administrative requirements.
f) Where services are subject to upgrade or migration options, Consumers shall be provided with clear and complete information regarding the upgrade or migration terms, including any changes in service performance and any duly approved fees or charges resulting from the upgrade or migration.
g) TextNigeria shall before entering into any contract for the provision of services, inform the customer whether there is any contractual warranty relating to products (if any) supplied for use in connection with the service, including how to obtain warranty service if required. Where a copy of the warranty is not provided with the products, TextNigeria shall inform the customer how and where it is available.
9 Intellectual property
TextNigeria will respect the intellectual property rights of their clients and other parties and will not knowingly infringe such rights.
10 Content control
a) TextNigeria will not knowingly transmit or publish “content which is illegal or forbidden”
b) If TextNigeria becomes aware of illegal content under its control, TextNigeria will immediately suspend access to that content. Where required to do so by law, TextNigeria will report the illegal content to the relevant enforcement authority.
11 Data protection
a) TextNigeria will take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorized or unlawful access to, interception of, or interference with any data.
TextNigeria will not provide any services or promotional material that:
a) contains a visual presentation of explicit violent sexual conduct;
b) results in any unreasonable invasion of privacy;
c) induces an unacceptable sense of fear or anxiety;
d) encourages or incites any person to engage in dangerous practices or to use harmful substances;
e) induces or promote racial disharmony;
f) causes grave or widespread offence; or
g) debases, degrades or demeans.
13 Information providers
a) TextNigeria will legally bind any information provider with whom they contract for the provision of services to ensure that none of the services contravene the Code of Conduct.
b) TextNigeria may suspend or terminate the services of any information provider that provides a service in contravention of this Code of Conduct.
a) TextNigeria reserves the right to make alterations to this Code of Conduct from time to time.
b) The current Code of Conduct will always be available on the TextNigeria web site.
15 Customer relations/Provision of information to customers
a) TextNigeria is committed to honest and fair dealings with their customers. In particular, pricing information for services must be clearly and accurately conveyed to customers and potential customers.
b) TextNigeria will not knowingly disseminate information that is false or deceptive, or that is likely to mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration or omission.
c) TextNigeria will make the terms and conditions of any of their services available to customers and potential customers, on request.
16 Privacy and Confidentiality
a) TextNigeria respects the constitutional right of consumers to personal privacy and privacy of communications.
b) TextNigeria respects the confidentiality of customers’ personal information and will not sell or distribute such information to any other party without the explicit consent of the customer, except where required to do so by law.
17 Fault Repair Service
a) TextNigeria shall provide means through which customers may report faults 24 hours a day.
b) TextNigeria and its agents shall comply with the relevant fault repair standards set out in the Commission’s Quality of Service Regulations.
c) Where possible, TextNigeria shall endeavour to give advance warning of any anticipated service disruptions or planned outages, including details of the disruption or outage, the services and the service areas to be affected.
d) In the event of force majeure such as floods, fire, storms, civil unrest, prohibitive governmental regulations, national emergency, acts of terrorism amongst others, TextNigeria shall endeavour to rectify the fault within such period of time as may be reasonable in the circumstances.
18 Commercial communications
a) Any commercial message is considered unsolicited (and hence spam) unless:
i. The recipient has requested the message;
ii. The message recipient has a direct and recent (within the last six months) prior commercial relationship with the message originator and would reasonably expect to receive marketing communications from the originator; or
iii. The organization supplying the originator with the recipient’s contact information has the recipient’s explicit consent to do so.
b) TextNigeria does not send or promote the sending of spam and will take reasonable measures to ensure that their facilities are not used, by others for this purpose.
19 Advertising and pricing
a) All advertised prices must include VAT.
b) TextNigeria shall make clear in advertising materials which promote the availability of a service any geographical or technical limitations on the availability of the service to consumers which:
i. substantially affect the performance of the service; and are known to TextNigeria.
c) TextNigeria shall make clear in any advertising materials which promote a service offer any limitations in the offer which restrict it –
i. to a particular group of people;
ii. to a partial zone, region or other geographical area within the country;
iii. to a particular period of time; or
iv. through the limited availability of equipment, facilities or other materials.
d) Pricing must not contain any hidden costs. Where applicable, pricing for content services must include the cost of the content and indicate any bearer costs that may be associated with downloading, browsing or receiving that content.
e) Pricing contained in an advertisement must not be misleading. If multiple communications are required to obtain content, then the advertised price must include the cost for all communications required for that transaction. A clear indication must always be given that more premium messages are required.
f) The price for a premium rated service must be easily and clearly visible in all advertisements. The price must appear with all instances of the premium number display.
g) Unless otherwise specified in the advertising guidelines, the name of the information provider providing the service must appear in all advertisements for premium rated services.
h) For menu-driven services such as USSD, the price for the service must be clearly stated at the top of the first page. Any additional costs associated with specific menu selections must be clearly indicated.
i) For services such as MMS, that have specific handset requirements, advertisements must make it clear that the customer needs to have a compatible handset that has been correctly configured to use that service.
j) The keyword “free” or words with the same or similar meaning (in any language) may not be used for any service unless that service has no associated charges whatsoever, excluding network bearer charges.
a) Any invoice/bill issued by TextNigeria or on its behalf shall at least contain the following information:
i. the customer’s billing name and address;
ii. TextNigeria’s current business name, address and registered number;
iii. a means of identifying the bill;
iv. the billing period;
v. a description of the charges (and credits) for which the customer is billed;
vi. the total amount billed, applicable credits, payments or discounts, and the net amount payable by the customer (or repayable by TextNigeria);
vii. the date on which the bill is issued;
viii. the bill (or refund) payment due date;
ix. methods of bill (or refund) payment;
x. methods of contact for complaints and billing inquiries; and
xi. any call charges applicable for complaints and billing inquiry calls
b) Customers shall have access to itemised details of all charges, either on the Invoice/bill or on a separate statement provided by TextNigeria upon request.
c) Unless otherwise requested by or agreed with the customer, TextNigeria shall provide itemised details during the current billing period. Where applicable, TextNigeria shall inform the customer of the notice period required to obtain itemised billing. TextNigeria shall ensure that itemised details contained in previous bills are available for 12 months, or any longer period required by law.
d) Customers shall not be charged for billing related information, except where the customer requests information not required to be provided under this clause such as requests for billing details more than one (1) year old. TextNigeria shall inform customers of any applicable charge resulting from their billing requests, and shall obtain the consent of the customer to any charge before it is imposed.
e) TextNigeria shall process and issue bills within 30 days of the closure of each billing period. A bill shall include all charges incurred during the billing period except where:
i. there exists a separate agreement with the customer to the contrary; or
ii. there is a delay as a result of the inclusion by TextNigeria of information from other suppliers or service providers in the bill; or
iii. there is a delay as a result of a change initiated by the customer such as where the customer has requested a different billing frequency or billing period; or
iv. there is a delay as a result of the suspension of charges that are in dispute; or
v. there has occurred a billing system or processing problem, in which case the problem shall be rectified and bills issued without undue delay and in accordance with any time periods identified by the Commission; or
vi. billing is delayed by circumstances beyond the reasonable control of TextNigeria, such as an event of force majeure.
f) TextNigeria shall ensure that customers are able to verify their bill payment by acknowledgement of payment on the next bill issued, telephone confirmation by calling a specified number, or such other appropriate and accessible methods as may be made available by TextNigeria.
g) Customers shall be provided with advance written notification of any proposed changes in billing periods, such advance notification to be at least equal to two (2) of its otherwise applicable billing periods (i.e. at least 2 months in advance where the billing period being changed is monthly).
h) Where a customer has not paid TextNigeria all or a part of a bill/invoice for services provided by TextNigeria, any measures taken by TextNigeria to effect payment or disconnection shall ;
i. be proportionate and not unduly discriminatory; and
ii. be accompanied by appropriate warning to the customer in advance of any resulting service interruption or disconnection; and
iii. confine any service interruption or disconnection to the service(s) concerned, as far as technically feasible.
a) Any promotional material for a competition service must clearly display the full cost to enter the competition and any cost to the user to obtain the prize.
b) Any promotional material for a competition service must include details of how the competition operates.
22 Subscription services
Promotional material for all subscription services must prominently and explicitly identify the services as “subscription services”.
23 Charitable promotions
a) Any promotional material for charitable and/or fundraising promotions must make it clear that network operator fees and administration fees will deducted from amounts paid.
b) Promotional material must specify the identity of the beneficiary.
c) Promotional material must make clear any restrictions or conditions attached to the contribution to be made to the beneficiary.
24 Interactive voice response (IVR) services
For any IVR service that costs more than N30 per minute, there must be a clear announcement of the cost per minute at the beginning of the call.
25 Complaints procedure
a) A complaint may be lodged against any member of TextNigeria or service that has acted contrary to the provisions of this Code.
b) Any complaint must be lodged using the contact information published on the TextNigeria website.
c) TextNigeria will provide easily understood information about its complaint procedure in various media and formats, including as specifically directed by the Commission from time to time.
d) TextNigeria will ensure that customers can easily identify how a complaint may be lodged, either at TextNigeria’s premises or using identified forms of telecommunications as directed by TextNigeria as well as the types of supporting information including, documents required by the customer when making a complaint.
e) All complaints will be recorded by TextNigeria, and processed in accordance with identified practices and procedures.
f) TextNigeria shall make adequate provision to ensure that people with physical disabilities or other special needs are able to access its complaint handling processes, including ensuring that customers can be easily represented by their authorised representatives in order to make a complaint.
g) Where a customer specifically request assistance in lodging complaints, TextNigeria shall endeavour to provide such assistance where reasonable and practicable.
h) Written complaints shall be acknowledged by TextNigeria and acted on within any time frames set out in the Commission’s Quality of Service Regulations (or as otherwise directed by the Commission from time to time). TextNigeria may acknowledge and otherwise initially respond to a complaint either verbally or in writing, but should make reasonable efforts to make the initial response in the manner requested by the complainant.
i) Non-written complaints shall be taken as acknowledged by TextNigeria at the time the complaint was communicated to TextNigeria.
j) When a complaint is made, TextNigeria shall where possible advise the customer of the expected actions and timing for investigating and resolving the complaint. Where TextNigeria regards the complaint as frivolous or vexatious, it shall inform the customer accordingly and if the customer is dissatisfied, the customer shall have the right to refer the complaint to the Commission as provided in this Code. No complaint shall remain unresolved for more than three (3) months.
k) TextNigeria shall advise the customer of the outcome of the investigation of their complaint, and any resulting decision.
l) Where a customer is not satisfied with a decision reached pursuant to a complaint, the Consumer shall have the option of pursuing an identified review process by which the decision may be reviewed by a suitably qualified person in TextNigeria’s organization. Where the customer has already been provided with the benefit of TextNigeria’s review process and where there are no further review processes, TextNigeria shall inform the customer accordingly.
m) In the event that a complaint has not been resolved to the Consumer’s satisfaction, including as a result of any review process, within sixty (60) days of being communicated to TextNigeria, TextNigeria shall inform the customer that the complaint may referred to the Commission.
n) Failure to deal with a customer’s complaints, and any related service failures, shall be subject to the requirements of the Quality of Service Regulations, including payment of any specific service credits or rebates established pursuant to those regulations.
o) Complaint handling procedure shall be provided free of charge. However, TextNigeria may impose a reasonable charge for complaint handling procedures where investigation of the complaint requires the retrieval of records more than twelve (12) months old, and where that retrieval results in any incremental expense or significant inconvenience to TextNigeria. Any such charges shall be identified and agreed to by the customer before being incurred.
p) TextNigeria shall avoid imposing any disconnection or credit management action regarding any service to which a complaint or billing dispute relates while the complaint or dispute is being investigated. While the complaint or dispute is being investigated, the customer is obliged to make payment of any outstanding amounts other than the amount that is specifically in dispute.
q) Where TextNigeria intends to take disconnection or credit management action against a customer regarding any amount that has been the subject of a complaint or dispute, TextNigeria will specifically notify the customer before taking the intended action.
r) TextNigeria shall keep appropriate recording systems for complaints and their outcomes and shall inform the customer that such record is being kept.
s) TextNigeria shall constantly review its complaint handling procedure and the outcome of such reviews shall be provided to the Commission. TextNigeria shall make any changes to its complaint handling procedure identified by the Commission.
t) Any information recorded by TextNigeria as part of its complaint handling procedure shall be retained for at least (12) months from the date if the resolution of the complaint.