EDITORIAL: Call delay fines punitive


Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). FILE PHOTO | NMG

Draft regulations by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) seek to fine telecoms operators Sh300,000 or a jail term of three years for call delays beyond 15 seconds.

While it is true that putting customers on hold for minutes before responding to their issues is frustrating, the proposed penalties are overzealous.

With the country having more than 50 million mobile subscribers, it is not difficult to see the firms being asked to pay billions of shillings in fines per year.

This will be a very punitive move that most of the players will not be able to afford and risks raising prices of mobile telephony services should the CA push ahead with the proposed regulations. The fine needs to be reduced to a level that will incentivise operators to invest more in their customer service call centres without crippling them when the inevitable breaches occur.

The regulations also have a narrow focus and fail to appreciate the totality of the companies’ customer service infrastructure.

Besides calls, the operators now handle customer complaints on multiple platforms.