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Suspicion of swindling and hidden overbilling by mobile phone operators

December 7, 2018 edition; serial number: 1482. ‘The Cross of Benin’, a weekly publication of the Catholic Church A few months ago, the government of Benin singlehandedly issued a decree that got Internet users and social media subscribers very angry. Many threatened to cancel their subscription altogether, while others vowed to take legal action against the authorities. So huge was the tax increase that several consumers’ associations accused the government of breaking its promises of affordable Internet access for all. The Head of State was left with no other choice than scrap the decree. A committee was set up to look more thoroughly into the matter and come up with new, reasonable tax proposals before any increase could be decided. The ‘armistice’ lasted a few months, sort of, but accusations of hidden tax increase and reduced airtime for consumers are being voiced again. Now, Mr. Ernest Gbaguidi, the head of one of these consumers’ associations, said in an interview that is strong suspicion of swindling and overbilling by mobile phone operators, despite the cancellation of the government decree. Mr. Gbaguidi also said that many mobile phone users have complained of reduced airtime on their smart phones after full credit recharge. It now looks like government and regulatory authorities, along with consumers’ associations, have their work pretty much cut out for them.

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