MTN Nigeria: The “compulsory” 777 and callertunez debacle

It totally beats me what the marketing guys were up to at MTN with their 777 caller tune. It is this complete lack of understanding that makes me reach the conclusion that forcing every subscriber (a good number I have had a chance to interact with on the matter) to use a service was a deliberate plot.

Honestly, MTN seems to have decent customer service representatives, 7 out of 8 reps I spoke with over the course of 2 days tried their best to “manage” the situation. One even offered to personally refund the money illegally deducted.

Son, that is never the right thing to say! On one hand, if I was really in a bad mood, I would have found your statement offensive. On the other hand, you would also have to refund the credits of over 1million subscribers who have suffered the same psychological trauma your employer has put them in – under forceful compulsion.

The first lady I spoke with on the 8th of November is obviously in the wrong profession. She did deactivate the callertune service but explicitly told me (with an attitude) “Sir, you cannot get a refund as we don’t refund credits to customers”.

The problem I have with these sort of people is that their arrogance deafens, blinds and limits their capacity to reason clearly! After having worked in the telecommunications industry for a few years, and being a nothing-is-impossible solutions developer, it nauseates me when I hear such lazy statements from a “customer (ME!)” service representative. Dear, it’s all lots of sand, metal and brain power (of which she had none).

This was the first time I called in, so I had no reason to expect the attitude I got. Unfortunately, I did not take note of her name to shame her thoroughly – as that is what she deserves.

I got billed for the extension of the callertunez service. FYI people:

  1. I know what callertunez is. Heck! I can implement callertunez off of my freeswitch or asterisk virtual machine.
  2. In over 10years I have never activated MTN (or any other) caller tune.
  3. Last month I did not activate callertunez.
  4. No, I will not deactivate what I never activated.
  5. Of course, I will get my N50 refund.

If you think from my experience, I now understand what the MTN 777 and or callertunez is all about, frankly, I still don’t get it! But I may have been able to deduce the following about callertunez:

  1. Not everyone got automatically signed up to the MTN 777 calertunez service. Obviously wetin concern Igbo man with 777 when he can have Phyno or something…
  2. Callertunez is a ringback tune library service. Picture it like a tray (for dishes). Inside of it, you have tunez (the dishes). You can break all the dishes and still have the tray.
  3. Ironically, if you break all the dishes, you will still be charged for keeping an empty tray (makes sense, right?). Of course it doesn’t!
  4. You will be billed N50 per month to keep the tray (empty or full), and N50 for each dish you buy.

As for 777. It is one of the dishes MTN gave us to enjoy, for some time, after which you will have to pay. If you were not interested in it, you would have to send a code to 4100 to “delete” aka “break” this dish.

The argument some of the MTN reps tried to make was that at some point in time, I had activated the 777 tune. For Christs sake, I NEVER CARED! I mean, how does one activate the goddamn thing anyway?!! Anyway, like many others, we never did. You guys know it, so stop making a mess of your smoke-screen integrity.

However, what MTN did not do is also “automatically” take their tray – you know, that one you never asked for, along with them.

So, in the end maybe this was the goal of MTN. To irk everyone until some blogger blows their horn. I may have basically provided them free marketing. I think I did…Way to go marketing guys at MTN!



It may not seem like a lot – just “N50,” but it is that exact attitude that has made these individuals – hiding behind “this government” or “that corporation”, get away with just about anything.

I did get my refund after putting up with 8 calls to 180 over 2 days plus that horrible “work-in-progress” IVR.

You deserve to get your own refund. It is your money. Call in and ask for it. The call is FREE!

Wait a second. I take that last statement back. Have you observed that the first time you call 180 on a low balance, you actually hear…”Your account is too low…to borrow airtime…”

It seems, we will soon all have to pay to call 180!

You will come across all sorts of reps, if he/she is not cooperating, let him/her know you will file a petition, which will go past his/her supervisor, right to the top…then to the NCC and presidency. Did I say it will go right to the top?

If they still do not cooperate, sign the petition here. I can assure you, change will happen.


In the end, it will be a win-win for everyone.