TRAI relief on unwanted value-added services

New Delhi, July 4: Bringing a major relief to the consumers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Monday issued directives to telecom operators to charge customers only if a confirmation is received from them for any value added service.

‘The service provider shall obtain confirmation from the consumer through SMS or e-mail or fax or in writing within 24 hours of activation of the VAS,’ TRAI said in a statement.

‘The consumer should be charged only if the confirmation is received from him for such value added service and shall discontinue if no confirmation is received,’ it added.

The regulator also said that the companies will have to keep the consumers informed three days in advance about the renewal of the services, through SMS also informing to get the cell phone recharged if there is insufficient amount.

In another note, the regulator emphasised that no operator would charge calls made by a customer to its complaint centre through the customer care number.

‘No call charge or short message service charge or USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) charge shall be levied upon, or payable by its consumers, for calls made or received, or short message service sent or received, or USSD calls received, to or from the complaint centre at its consumer care number.’

All the service providers have also been instructed to establish a complaint centre for solving complaints of its consumers within 60 days of the commencement of TRAI’s regulation.

TRAI also emphasised that operators regularly display the contact details of the complaint centres, including consumer care number in each licensed area, through advertisements in newspapers.

TRAI had floated a consultation paper last year seeking comments from the stakeholders on measures for protecting consumers interest and redressal of consumer grievances.