Telecom Regulatory Authority of India conducted Telecom Consumer Outreach Programme at Belgaum on 20-09-2013 to create awareness among the telecom consumers about their rights and privileges. Large number of Telecom Consumers, representatives of Telecom Service Providers, representative from Consumer Forums participated in the Programme.
Dr. Sibichen K. Mathew, IRS, Regional Head (Karnataka and Kerala) explained about the roles and functions of Regional Office, initiatives taken for telecom consumer protection. He also explained about the rights and privileges of telecom consumers. During the Programme, TRAI regulations were highlighted, which inter alia include Mobile Number Portability (MNP), Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), Complaint Redressal Mechanism etc.
Complaint Redressal : In case of any complaint or service request, the subscriber has to call Customer Care Number of their service providers and register their complaint. If consumer is not satisfied with the redressal of his complaint, he can approach Appellate Authority. The contact details of Appellate Authority would be available in the start-up kit, website of the service providers and their sales outlets. The consumers can visit the portal – www.tccms.gov.in – which facilitates locating the “Consumer Care Number”, “General Information Number”, contact details of the complaint centre and Appellate Authority of the service provider.
Mobile Number Portability: The mobile consumer can move from one service provider to another service provider within the same area retaining the existing number by Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Under MNP, the mobile user is eligible to make a porting request only after 90 days from the date of activation. To get UPC, consumers has to send -PORT xxxxxxxxxx (10 digit mobile no.) to 1900 and the UPC code is valid for 15 days.
Unsolicited Commercial Communications: Consumers have an option to selectively receive telemarketing calls and SMS. The consumer has to register his preference by sending SMS/call to 1909. Once registered, he would cease to receive commercial communications as per preference after a period of 7 days from the date of registration. Even after registration, if a consumer receives such calls/SMS, he can register a complaint at 1909 within three days of receipt. Telemarketing SMS/Calls cannot be made from a 10 digit number.
Value Added Service: VAS services will be activated only after the 2nd confirmation by the consumer. The consumer can deactivate any value added services at any time through the toll-free number 155223.
Information to consumers:
Prepaid consumers can get itemized usage for calls, SMS, data and VAS services from the service providers for any period in the past 6 months.
A tariff plan once offered shall be valid for minimum six months. (both for prepaid and post paid). Consumers are free to migrate from one plan to another plan without any charge.
Billing complaints should be resolved within four weeks.
The service providers will have to offer special plans for roaming subscribers in which subscribers can avail of partial free roaming or full free roaming in lieu of payment of fixed charges.
The mobile connections of prepaid consumers shall not be deactivated for any period of usage less than 90 days.
Request for Termination is to be completed within a time limit of 7 days. Customers not to be charged rental or any other charges beyond the period of 7 days of request for closure made by the customer.
The Digitization of cable TV network already completed in 4 metro cities and 38 cities. There will be complete transition to Digital Cable TV by 31.12.2014. Such digitalization can provide various value added services including broadband for the consumers. The cable operators should have a designated complaint handling and redressal system.
Senior Research Officers Smt Latha H C and Shri Muralidhara K were also participated in the programme.