Internet Data Theft

Hundreds of internet users have swarmed the offices of The Insight newspaper over the past two months with only one bitter complaint: “My internet service provider is stealing my internet data (credit)”

Whilst some call for prosecution or heavy sanctions several others demand and exposure of the data thievery.

An obviously frustrated customer, Ebenezer Lartey has also reported that within 4 days he had bought about 50 cedis worth of internet data for surfing the internet without any heavy downloads adding that the data bundle systems does not work.

Phone and internet bundles were created as a response to demand from consumer and small scale businesses. They demanded a package which would include phone and internet communication hardware at once all provide by one service provider. It is also generally believed that bundles are less expensive compared to the pay as you go system.

“What the internet companies de do no de bee kwraa. You buy the credit just now then them go steal am. All of them de steal our credit and the thing now become worse. These things for stop otherwise we go throw our computers away. Which kind thievery be this” Tema Community 11.

Loretta Ashie, the Secretary to a private newspaper in Accra subscribes to one of the packages offered by Vodafone, she had bought 70 cedis 3 days earlier and was busily surfing the internet when she received the following message: “Dear Customer your primary balance is less than 50p, keep on talking, texting and browsing with SOS credit. To borrow credit, dial *500”

None of the internet service providers has appeared clean. Top of the list has been occupied by Tigo, Vodafone and MTN. surfline and Airtel has also had several mentions.

According to the aggrieved internet users, the data robbery started in March this year and has progressed steadily.

A source at the National Communications Authority (NCA) has revealed that the authority has received similar complaints and investigations will start unabated.

The NCA is believed to be also looking into complaints of slow internet connectivity and the integrity behind the advertisement of internet service providers in the print and electronic media.