COMPLAINTS

 

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COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE

Consumers of all communication services: – Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Data communications, Postal and Courier Services who are dissatisfied with services rendered to them by any of the operators have a right to redress the situation through lodging of complaints to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority.

Please read carefully the procedures, which are outlined here-under in Form of Frequently Asked Questions and answers.

Do I have to pay for the services of MACRA Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU)?

No! The services of the CAU are rendered FREE OF CHARGE. ‘So, take advantage, so that we can help you.’

What issues can Consumers complain about?

These include, amongst others: unlawful airtime deductions, arbitrary disconnection, and nonchalant attitude towards genuine complaints, poor quality of services, delays in service delivery, false and misleading advertisements, invasion of privacy, violation or non-delivery of mail, delayed restoration of service etc.

What is the first thing a dissatisfied consumer of communication services do, in order to get their problem solved?

It is advisable to begin the complaints process with the provider of the service you are not satisfied with for instance with a call or written complaint and where necessary, obtain a complaint reference number where necessary. This gives them a chance to resolve the issue for you. Most licensed operators are more than willing to resolve complaints amicably and swiftly.

In the event that the service provider does not satisfactorily solve the problem, he / she can then proceed to file a complaint to the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority

How do I file a complaint with Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority

The particulars in the complaint should include Name, Physical address, Phone number, Email address and Complaint reference number (note; service providers should provide you with a reference number whenever you make a complaint to them), as well as a brief description of the problem they are facing and its duration. Provide copies of all documents pertaining to the complaint. A brief explanation of the circumstances that led to the complaint; name of service provider, and telephone number should also be availed.

Do consumers have any responsibilities / duties /obligations?

Yes! Whereas consumers have got rights, they too have obligations to fulfill. Obligations such as prompt payment of phone bills and ensuring that utilization of communications services is not in a manner hazardous to the environment.

Can an aggrieved consumer sue the service provider in a court of law over a breach of contract?

Yes, But MACRA advises that this should be a last resort, Dialogue and peaceful negotiations are preferred and should be fully explored before resorting to protracted and costly litigation. MACRA offers arbitration to the aggrieved parties to facilitate an amicable resolution of differences and disputes between service providers and consumers.

How can a subscriber / consumer lodge complaint?

A complaint to MACRA can be in writing, by phone, email, fax or by personal visit. The written complaint should be summarized and must not exceed two pages; it must be readable, clear and should contain the complainant’s contacts. If you are having problems lodging complaint, our consumer affairs team is on hand to help you.

Mode of lodging complaints

  1. The complainant may deliver a complaint through the following means:
  2. by hand/dispatch; –  Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority, 9 Salmin Armour Road, Ginnery Corner, Blantyre, Malawi
  3. by post; – Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority,9 Salmin Armour Road, Private Bag 261, Blantyre, Malawi
  4. by phone or fax; – +265 (0) 1 812912 or  01 812 890
  5. by web-site/on line   www.macra.org.mw / consumer-help@macra.org.mw

What happens when MACRA Consumer Affairs Unit receives a complaint?

The complaint is analyzed and investigated immediately. Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) reaches out to the service provider complained against. If the CAU is satisfied that the service provider breached terms of its contract with the consumer, or acted contrary to its license obligations and regulations, the Authority shall take appropriate action without delay to get the service provider to improve the situation.

Will the MACRA Consumer Affairs Unit get back to the consumer who lodged a complaint?

Yes. In cases where investigations are concluded in less than 48 hours, the complainant will be reached by phone in less than 48 hours, otherwise he/she will be communicated to in writing on the outcome of the review within 14 days.

Is MACRA a Government agency?

Yes! MACRA is a Government agency with independent status to effectively regulate the activities of operators, suppliers and consumers in the communications industry.  For further information, please contact;

MACRA