Telecos harmonize customer service short codes from September 2014

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Beginning September 8, 2014, all telcos in the country will use the same short codes for the various customer service activities such as recharging credit, checking credit balance and call centre enquiries.

A statement from the The National Communications Authority (NCA) said the authority is doing this in collaboration with telcos to ensure that common customer services across all networks use uniform short codes.

Currently, all telcos use different short codes for different customer service purposes, and it gets even more complex when it comes to number of short codes they use in their numerous Value Added Service activities.

But Director-General of NCA, Paarock VanPercy said in a statement, there is need to harmonize all short codes for general customer services across all networks.

“To this end, all short codes for accessing services including Credit Recharge, Credit Balance, and Call Centre enquiries and other such services will be uniform for all mobile telephony consumers in Ghana, irrespective of their network from 8th September, 2014.”

The new harmonized short codes area; Call centre 100, credit recharge, 134; check balance, 124; porting service (MNP), 600; verification of SIM registration, 400; Voice Mail deposit, 108 and Voice mail retrieval, 109.

It said apart from the voice mail service, which may come with charges determined by the respective service provider, all the other short codes are free to use.

Mr. VanPercy indicated that the new harmonized codes will run concurrently with the old codes until April 2015, in order to give consumers enough time to learn and adapt to the new codes.

“In line with this, the NCA and the telcos would be embarking on a sensitization campaign to create awareness of this new initiative,” he said.

Illustrating further, Mr. VanPercy said that all consumers needed to do was to replace the old short code with the new short codes. However, and as stated earlier, these recharge vouchers are still valid and will be phased out entirely by April, 2015.

He added that, with the exception of depositing or retrieving Voice Mail, consumers will not be charged for using these harmonized short codes to contact service providers or perform other functions.

Mr. VanPercy said that the NCA as the regulator is always looking to work with the network operators and other stakeholders to ensure that consumers’ experiences are greatly enhanced.

He told Adom News measures are also being put in place to streamline the issuance of short codes for the various value added services such as bulk sms, short audios, videos and others the telcos and their content providers do.

“NCA is going to take over the issuance of those codes very soon and ensure some sanity in the system,” he said.

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