The Consumer Outreach Programme is the Consumer Affairs Bureau’s strategic initiative aimed at uniquely creating an interactive opportunity amongst key industry stakeholders by focusing on dissemination of information on telecoms products and services among the semi-urban region.
The Commission also introduced the Town Hall meeting which is a third tier of Consumer Outreach event, an unprecedented frequency and diversity of consumer complaints became a common occurrence; hence the need for a robust surveillance of the industry with a view to protecting consumers through well focused information and education initiatives.
Objectives of the COP
The Consumer Outreach Program is done for the following reasons:
- To serve as a platform for consumer education, information and protection
- To serve as an alternative , and at the same time, inexpensive and quick dispute resolution mechanism
- To serve as an interactive forum, bridging the gap between operators and consumers in the industry, thereby building confidence between them and creating mutually beneficial relationships.
- To give Telecom Consumer groups the platform through which they could air their views and suggestions on how to move the industry forward and also to make complaints over services being provided them.
- To provide reliable feedback on the status and the dynamics of the industry to the regulator for effective and result – oriented regulatory regime.
- To facilitate awareness of Telecoms Consumers of their rights and obligations for the overall healthy development of the industry.
- To institutionalize public accountability, due process and transparency in the industry with a view to ensuring that the consumers remain the undisputed KINGS in the industry.
- To elicit stakeholder views and reactions and inputs to regulatory policies and programmes.
- To eradicate the perception of the consumers as the underdogs and hapless receivers of shoddy and inefficient services as was the case during the era of monopoly.