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Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Telecommunications

République du Burundi

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Rights and duties

Consumer rights

The right to information:

Generally speaking, the consumer has the right to clear, understandable and precise information likely to help or guide him not only in his choices (choice of operators for example) but also in his communication with others. Alongside this, consumers have the right to be assisted and to know how this or that other product or service works (what does it offer better and how?). This is particularly necessary for operators who offer their services directly to customers. Consumers also have the right to receive comparative information. In reality, this information allows consumers to check whether operators or suppliers have adequate and modern equipment (to ensure a quality service).

Access to information and communication technologies:

 Access to ICT is only possible if the tariffs charged by the operators are reasonable and set by mutual agreement between the operators (who apply these tariffs) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARCT) which approves them beforehand. operators must respect the commitments mentioned in the concession contracts. Mainly, they must offer telecommunications services to all populations by ensuring national network coverage: the lack of this coverage constitutes a flagrant violation of the right of the consumer who is deprived of access to telecommunications products and services.

The right to equal treatment:

Consumers have the right to the same treatment, that is to say to equality with regard to their treatment by operators and by public authorities. They should not face any discrimination whatsoever. This discrimination can have several sources. We can cite, for example, the refusal of a consumer to access telecommunications services or the various advantages offered by operators when the consumer has paid the same amounts as other consumers. If a consumer refuses to pay the price of the subscription (connection), he cannot demand his operator to provide services.

The right to quality of service:

Consumers have the right to receive quality services from Operators that match or reflect the price they pay.

The right to claim:

Consumers have the right to claim the quality of services, to demand compliance with deadlines, quality as well as reduced rates according to the nature of the communication services offered by the operators. The consumer also wishes to use or consume services that he knows. He also has the right to know what is the duration of these services offered to him: in the absence of precision on this duration, the consumer has the right to claim.

The right to appeal:

The consumer has the right to an appeal system capable of settling disputes/conflicts or alleviating consumer concerns. This recourse mechanism must be envisaged by operators within their own institutions/companies. The consumer therefore has the right to an effective system for resolving his complaints or claims and this system operates according to the nature of the problems or conflicts that arise.

The right to security:

Among the rights of the consumer is also the right to security. Operators must provide communication services that are safe for consumers. All operators must ensure that their equipment does not constitute a danger to the health of consumers and must ensure the maintenance of this equipment for the benefit of consumers. The use of this communication equipment by consumers should not expose them to risks. Any possible risk must imperatively be communicated to consumers if it is not a risk created by the consumer himself.

The right to confidentiality of communications:

Every consumer has the right to the confidentiality of his communications. The regulator generally requires operators to keep confidential private communications made by the consumer including information that the operator may have about his client (consumer). This information must not be disclosed without the prior authorization of a legally competent authority.

The right to information:

Consumers have the right to be informed about the nature of the services offered. This information of the consumer is necessary because it allows him to acquire knowledge and techniques likely to help him to be informed on the one hand and to be formed on the other hand.

The right to notification of the termination of the provision of services:

With regard to the provision of the services, consumers have the right to be notified of the term (termination) of access to the services. These are the very requirements (of business) in commercial matters.

The right to representation:

ICT consumers have the right to representation. They must be represented with operators and government decision-makers on all issues affecting the telecommunications sector. The views of consumers must therefore be taken into account.

The right to an information note:

The information note is one of the rights of consumers to which they must have access. If consumers are not satisfied with their information note, they must have the possibility of meeting their operators in order to discuss/exchange in order to have details or clarifications.

The right to peace:

The right to peace of mind is a right that must be guaranteed to the consumer. Thus, the consumer must not be disturbed at any time by the abusive reception of messages or calls made by his operator. The consumer must in principle enjoy the services offered to him quietly.

Consumer duties

Prompt payment of bills:

Consumers have an obligation to pay all bills when they are due.

Environmental Protection:

Each consumer must ensure that the use or consumption of telecommunications services does not constitute a danger to the environment. Protecting the environment is a responsibility of every individual living on the planet. The consumer must, for example, ensure that wraps and scratch cards are disposed of safely and rationally.

Awareness:

The consumer must be vigilant when it comes to problems relating to the conditions of the services offered. The Consumer should know his rights and obligations but also discover the other information he needs.

The right to quality of service:

Consumers have the right to receive quality services from Operators that match or reflect the price they pay.

Action:

The consumer has the obligation to assert himself in such a way that he receives, along with the other users of the service, fair treatment. It is not good for a consumer to notice a weakness in a received service or in the telecommunications sector and keep silent about it.

Protection of means of communication:

The consumer must protect all communication equipment and installations in his vicinity.

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