HomeCourt room newsLawyer Sues Multi-Choice over Alleged Arbitrary Billing, increased subscription rate

Lawyer Sues Multi-Choice over Alleged Arbitrary Billing, increased subscription rate

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An Abuja based legal practitioner, Mr. Mmaduabuchi O. Idam has filed an action against Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited over its “arbitrary billing and increment of subscription rates, which has all these years been extortionist and exploitative against DSTV and GOTV subscribers in Nigeria.”

In the Originating Summons with Suit No:FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 562/ 2024 filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, the lawyer is suing Multi-Choice Nigeria as 1st Defendant along side The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, National Broadcasting Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation as 2nd to 4th Defendants respectively, claiming the following reliefs:

  1. A DECLARATION that  having regard to Sections 124,121, 114 and 115 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018,  it amounts to exploitation, unfair trade tactics for a service Provider such as the 1st Defendant to arbitrarily charge the Plaintiff and indeed other subscribers /customers when their subscription is not used. 
  1. A DECLARATION that failure of the 1st Defendant to regulate or meter its decoder to read customer’s subscription only when in use or per view amounts to a violation of the Plaintiff’s “Rights to Information in Plain and Understandable Language”, “Rights to Disclosure of Goods and Services” and “Rights against Unfair Tactics” as provided in Sections 114, 115,121 and 124 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.
  1. A DECLARATION that failure of the 1st Defendant to roll over its customers unused subscription such as the Plaintiff’s after the expiration of the subscription period, amounts to unjust and unfair trade tactics, which is tantamount to a violation of the Plaintiff’s rights as contained in Sections 114, 115, 121 and 124 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.  
  1. AN ORDER compelling the 1st Defendant to forthwith, regulate or meter its decoder in order to read customer’s subscription only per view or during viewing.
  1. AN ORDER compelling the 1st Defendant to upon expiration of the Plaintiff’s subscription duration to roll over the unused subscription in order to enable the Plaintiff and other customers in Nigeria to maximize their money spent on the 1st Defendant’s product.  
  1. AN ORDER of Mandamus compelling the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants to consequently direct every other TV Network provider in Nigeria to Regulate or meter their subscription to read per view or during viewing and roll over unused subscription after the expiration of the subscription duration.
  1. AN ORDER awarding the sum of N 80,000,000.00 (Eighty Million Naira) only as General Damages in favour of the Plaintiff against the 1st Defendant for the 1st Defendant’s several years of extortion and violation of the Plaintiff’s right as provided by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018. 
  1. AN ORDER awarding the Sum of N. 5, 000,000.00 ( Five Million Naira) only against the 1st Defendant as cost of instituting this action.

According to Mr. Idam, prior to filing the instant suit, he had written to all relevant regulatory agencies to regulate the arbitrary billings and extortion by multichoice and his demand were neglected.

“I had written all the relevant regulatory agencies including Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited, requesting for the regulation of DSTV and GOTV subscription in order to curb the arbitrary billings and extortionist charges which I consider as an unfair trade practice contrary to sections 114, 115, 121 and 126 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018.”

“Unfortunately, Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited and FCCPC failed and neglected to respond to my letter, but NBC did respond, requesting for some time to investigate my complaint and act accordingly, which they have yet to do despite my letter of reminder to that effect. Consequently, I have chosen not to wait forever. Hence, I have decided to seek redress in the court and have so filed the aforementioned action which bears the Suit Number:FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 562/ 2024, with a view to nip the issue in the bud, because Nigerians cannot continue to live at the mercy of hoggish business merchants.”

The suit is yet to be assigned to a court.

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