Telcos Must Publish Tariff Plans In Papers: TRAI
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) continues to rule with an iron fist. It has now told telecom operators to publish their tariff plans in newspapers. These must be put up in at least one regional and one English publication. The telecom regulator has been receiving complaints from consumers about the “alleged lack of transparency and resultant confusion for subscribers due to the multiplicity of tariff plans”. The rates have to be published in a format specified by TRAI for easy comparison, at least once every six months. Formats for prepaid and post-paid plans will have to be different and distinguishable from each other. In addition, telcos will have to display the latest tariff details on their websites at all times. This will also have to be updated at point-of-sale locations, at least on a quarterly basis. The deadline to adapt to these formats has been set to 3rd February.
In another move, the telecom regulatory body has decided to streamline and standardise the vouchers offered by providers. A colour code will have to be followed by all subscribers to distinguish between different types of vouchers. Details about plans, MRPs, and net monetary value will also have to be clearly mentioned on each voucher in font size not less than eight points.
Operators will also have to ensure that they do not adopt unfair practices, such as activating value-added services, without the subscriber’s consent. The companies are required to inform customers about service charges, the validity period, and the procedure to unsubscribe, even before activating their numbers.
This stand taken by TRAI on behalf of all mobile subscribers is a very welcome change, considering the apathy we have experienced in the past. What do you think?