A customer said that MTN had inadvertently taken his credits four times


‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Daily Courier – MTN customers face being charged multiple times as the telecommunication giant tries to fix a system payment glitch.

Sadly, by Sunday night MTN said the problem had been fixed, but no customer had been refunded.

Some customers vented their anger to Daily Courier Correspondent over the weekend saying the system error has left them without call credit.

Pauline Jakarda said: “I had a text yesterday to say “You do not have active data left and your main balance is N 00.06. Please dial *131*1# to buy a data bundle. This was shortly after recharging 1000 naira and making less than three minutes call. I don’t know why”.

Another customer said that MTN had inadvertently taken his credits four times.

Blessing Festus said: “On Friday, I recharged 300 naira and in less than five minutes, I received a text showing that I have spent 299 naira; I thought it was my fault and recharged 200 naira only to receive another text indicating that I have spent 199 naira.”

An MTN customer service representative confirmed the issue but refused to indicate whether it is affecting all subscribers but stressed that customer affected would be reimbursed.

The teleco has not disclosed the exact number of subscribers affected by the issue or what caused the problem.

In a call to another MTN customer service agent by our Correspondent, he denied knowledge of the glitch saying: “Please my system is currently not working, you can call back so that we can help you run a check through our system to know the cause of the problem. We regret any inconvenience.”

However, a top staff of the teleco giant who spoke to Daily Courier on condition of anonymity revealed that the company is trying very hard to fix a major system glitch before it comes an embarrassing as the number of complains from Nigerians have surged since last week and admitted that customers who are affected would be refunded as soon as possible.

No official statement have been released by MTN to allay the apprehension by Nigerians due to this latest round of system glitch.

Customers are advised to keep a close watch on their credit to make sure any potential duplicate payments are refunded.

This is the latest issues affecting MTN call payment system.

Last month MTN Nigeria has reportedly charged 18 banks to court over N22.3 billion mobile money fraud. The recently licensed MTN MoMo has identified fraudulent activities on over 700,000 transactions and has dragged these banks to court in an attempt to retrieve funds mistakenly transferred to about 8000 accounts under these banks. The mobile money operators have since shut down their service to avoid any further liability.

Merely three months since acquiring its license to operate as a Payment Service Bank (PSB), things are beginning to look quite challenging for MTN MoMo. Following the recent play of events, MTN will thrive to gain back lost funds to resume operations. However, MTN MoMo will be challenged with earning customers’ trust as matters of fraud could affect the number of users on its network. Furthermore, MTN could also be on the verge of straining relationships with potential banking partners in the Nigerian financial industry following the lawsuit.

In April, MTN customers complained that they were unable to make calls from their lines, an issue for which the teleco later apologised and attributed to a routine systems update.

While in October last year, MTN customers had trouble loading credit on their sims after the firm was hit by a system glitch.

Subscribers of MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, paid nothing less than N31.62 billion as Value Added Tax (VAT) on calls and data consumed in the first quarter of 2021. According to information contained in the firm’s Q1 2022 report released to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on Friday.

The figure is based on the N421.49 billion the telecoms firm made from calls and data in the first three months of 2022, for which a statutory 7.5 percent consumption/transaction tax is imposed as VAT and deductible at source.

The firm further reported that the N421.49 billion it earned from calls and data in the three months of 2022 represents a 20.32 percent increase from N350.31 billion it realised from voice and data in the corresponding period of 2021.

This suggests that MTN subscribers coughed out not less than N26.28 billion as VAT, representing 7.5 percent of the N350.31 billion it made from calls and data in the corresponding period of 2021.

This reflects 20.3 percent difference – less than the N31.62 billion paid in Q1 2022

According to the firm, its subscribers declined by 1.3 million to 70.2 million year-on-year because of regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations. It added that its active data users increased to 35.9 million year-on-year, while its fintech subscribers rose to 10.7 million.

About 60 million MTN subscribers had submitted their NINs.