KABUL (SW) – An intense campaign against the telecommunication firms’ alleged hidden costs and tariffs has gained momentum.
The social media users are sharing their experiences in this regard under the slogan ‘Where is ATRA (Afghanistan Telecommunication Regulatory Authority)”.
One such consumer, Habibullah, said he is living in a remote district where the internet speed is quite slow, but he is charged in advance for poor service. Another use said her mother has not been using her mobile phone constantly, but her service provider keeps charging her. He said the helplines often tell them various monthly services and packages have been activated on their phones.
Many more consumers have shared their bitter experiences in this regard. Some have charged the telecom providers for sending too many commercial messages and calls in a bid to lure them.
A Kabul-based telecom subscriber, Tariq, told Salam Watandar he is connected to two different service providers, and both are charging inflated rates against poor service.
One of the organizers of the ‘Where is ATRA”, Mirwais Arya, said the aim of this drive is to compel the telecom providers to be more transparent and accountable. He said many vague services are subscribed to consumers without their consent against a certain amount of fee. He vowed the campaign would continue until the telecom firms get their acts together.
Meanwhile, Syed Mohammad Anwari, an adviser at ATRA, has clarified that many consumers are losing their money simply because they are not aware about the smart use of technology. He said most of the problems arise when consumers do not pay attention while activating or deactivating certain packages on their mobile phones.
This comes as the government imposed 10 per cent tariff on telecommunication consumption two years ago, however, concerns and ambiguities surround the tax collection regime. This compelled the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) to call for an end to this tariff owing to these doubts, but to no avail.