Pre-paid users can now get their bill by paying Rs 50: TRAI
In an effort to protect the interests of pre-paid mobile services users, telecom regulator Trai today said they can now get an itemised bill from service providers on request and at a price not exceeding Rs 50.
“To ensure that pre-paid consumers get their itemised usage of their account, the service providers have been mandated to provide the same within 30 days to the consumer on request and at a reasonable cost not exceeding Rs 50,” Trai said in its ‘Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2012’.
The sectoral regulator has announced the regulations with a view to protect the interests of telecom consumers, particularly pre-paid users.
The consumer can also get details of his tariff plan, available balance in his account and details of any value-added service activated on his telephone number at any time from the service provider, free of charge.
According to the regulations, it will be mandatory to provide a start-up kit (SUK) to each subscriber at the time of enrollment to the telecom service provided by an operator, which will include the SIM card and mobile number, besides an abridged version of the citizen’s charter provided under the Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012.
The vouchers offered by the service providers have been simplified and standardised into three categories — plan vouchers, top-up vouchers and special tariff vouchers (STV).
The plan voucher shall be used for enrolling a consumer into a tariff plan. The top-up voucher shall contain only the monetary value in rupees and such monetary value shall be without any restrictions in terms of the validity period or the services used, Trai said.
To promote further transparency and easy identification by consumers, a distinct colour band is to be provided on the reverse of each voucher.
According to Trai, at present, about 96 per cent of consumers are in the pre-paid category and unlike post-paid consumers, the pre-paid consumers do not get any bills for their usage and the amount charged.
As part of its sustained efforts to address the needs of consumers, Trai had initiated a consultation process to review various measures already in place and to evolve appropriate further measures to safeguard the interest of consumers by issuing a consultation paper, ‘Review of Measures to Protect Interest of Consumers in the Telecom Sector’ on August 2, 2010.
Yesterday, Trai had announced the ‘Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012‘ to ensure redressal of complaints and service requests in accordance with the timeframe specified under the authority’s quality of service regulations.