WINDHOEK – Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) will continue charging consumers a collection commission of 18 percent on any debt emanating from service level agreements for the provision of telecommunication services.
This, after the Windhoek High Court last week set aside the resolutions that were taken by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) on August 30, 2017, that MTC may not charge consumers a collection commission of 18 percent on any debt.
According to the resolution taken by CRAN, MTC consumers were required by law to pay 10 percent only on debt collection commission, as opposed to 18 percent and MTC was to inform the debt collection agency of the resolution.
CRAN decided that MTC may not charge consumers a collection commission of 18 percent and all debts arising from subscriber agreements between consumers and MTC were to be charged a collection commission of 10 percent only. Following that decision, MTC took CRAN to court for the decision to be set aside.
Judge Harald Geier on Friday ruled that CRAN acted outside its mandate as a regulatory authority when it made the resolution in August 2017.
Geier explained that CRAN only has authority over MTC and not third parties that go into any agreement with the telecommunication company.
Furthermore, CRAN erred in its decision because the collection commission is not payable to MTC. In fact, the debt collector deducts the collection commission and only pays over the balance to MTC.
The collection commission is a fee the debt collector charges for collecting the debt.
A consumer complained in 2013 that he was charged a collection commission of 18 percent for a debt that arose from a subscriber agreement for the provision of telecommunications services with MTC.
According to the complainant, their account fell into arrears with N$3 158.77 but the debt collector demanded N$10 374.20.
MTC’s Subscriber Agreement states that if the subscriber breaches the contract, MTC shall be entitled to recover all legal and other costs, which shall include 18% collection commission that may be legally recovered from the subscriber by MTC.