October 23, 2009

Irregular SIMs are being Removed from Consumers CNICs on Their Request

Irregular SIMs are being Removed from Consumers CNICs on Their Request

Islamabad: After seeking Information through “SIM Information system 668” introduced by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), around 1 lac 75 thousand complainants (5.9% of total SMSs received at PTA’s System) have so far visited the Customer Service Centers (CSC) of concerned mobile operators for their SIM data correction while more than 4 lac illegal/irregular SIMs have been removed from the complainants’ CNICs after they provided undertaking. Since the launch of this service PTA has received on its system, more than 2.96 million (29.6 Lacs) requests of mobile subscribers seeking their SIM information data through SMS and about 0.86 million (8 lac 60 thousand) through web-link available at PTA website.

It may be mentioned that after lodging complaint by a mobile user at CSC/franchise regarding SIMs not in his/her use, those irregular SIMs are being immediately removed from complainant’s CNIC hence completing the consumer’s responsibility. The data currently available with PTA at 668 service is updated till 31st January, 2009. This data has been provided by mobile operators. Data of mobile SIMs issued after 31st January, 2009 will be updated soon.

PTA has also been conducting continued monitoring and customers’ perception/satisfaction surveys which have revealed that the customers are concerned that why and how SIMs have been registered against their CNICs without their knowledge. The survey results and continued analyses say that mobile customers used to buy SIM from unauthorized sale points and did not fulfill the presale formalities including proper filling of Cellular Service Agreement Form (CSAF). PTA found that customers did not take interest in registering SIMs in their own names despite the information that it is illegal to use unregistered SIMs and repeated warnings by PTA and mobile operators on it.

Another reason of this problem had been misuse of CNIC copy at franchisees and retailers of those customers who did not properly fill up the CSAF. In some cases negligence on part of consumers while making photocopy of CNIC at different photocopies shops where the copy are retained by shop owners for ulterior motives has also served in bringing up this situation. PTA had informed the mobile subscribers that they should write the number of a particular mobile connection on copy of their CNIC before providing it to CSCs, franchises and retailers for a new connection.

PTA Zonal Offices in all provincial capitals are vigilant at their respective ends and they are visiting CSCs of mobile companies in different cities to ensure that the customers are being attended and facilitated adequately. They interact with customers to know their problems and give input to PTA for bringing further enhancement in the procedures being followed presently for SIM data correction.

In view of problems faced by mobile users of small cities and towns in seeking their SIMs data correction, PTA has taken number of steps. It has allowed the selected Franchises to receive the complaints regarding SIMs data for the convenience of mobile users. These Franchisees are only allowed to register the complaints by filling the undertaking forms, copy of which they return to the complainant. Franchisees are not allowed to change/amend the data rather they only forward those complaints to concerned mobile company for the correction in the data as desired by consumer.

It may be noted that CSCs of mobile companies are experiencing considerable rush due to the ongoing SIM data correction process. PTA has requested the mobile users to show patience at CSCs/franchises as every effort is being made to ensure the provision of due support to them by the CSCs staff. Streamlining of mobile users’ data may take few months but once this process is completed, it will eventually benefit the telecom consumers. The purpose of this practice is to streamline the data of mobile users which cannot be achieved without their cooperation.


Khurram A. Mehran

Director (PR)