It was a couple of days ago that we reported TRAI’s latest initiative to curb the pesky calls menace where the consumers were required to forward the erring SMS to 1909 for registering a complaint against it. (See full story Received A Pesky SMS? Forward It To 1909.)
While the success of this service is still under scrutiny with plenty of consumers reporting that menace continues unrelented. It remains a point of debate whether this is a result of lack of consumer initiative in using the services and reporting or the service has failed to achieve its objective as such. Perceived success notwithstanding, this was still a start and is bound to have made a difference at least in some quarters, even if not entirely in visible.
And now, TRAI has come up with another set of services to curb the widely prevalent practice of activating value added services (VAS) without the consumer’s consent. Consumers can now register complaint about wrongful activation of value added services (VAS) like internet and caller tunes on a new common number, 155223, for all operators.
These services are, by design, more action oriented that the previous one dealing with pesky SMS in the sense that once the complaint has been registered by a consumer, telecom operators will have to refund the amount charged for such activation of services. The only condition here is that to be able to get the refund, the consumer will have to inform about it within 24 hours on this common number.
Subscribers who have been using any value added services beyond 24 hours can also request for deactivation of service on this number. Telecom operator will have to deactivate service within four hours of getting phone call but the customer will not be eligible to claim refund in such cases.
The regulations have come in place from February 1, after the industry players failed to convince TRAI against them. Simply put, February 1, 2013 onwards, operators will have to take consent of subscribers before activating any VAS and deactivate it without charging for it if no consent is received from them.
Interestingly, compliance with these regulations will lead to an estimated Rs 12,000 crore revenue loss to the industry, which just about begins to describe the extent to which the industry thrives on cheating and troubling average consumers.
Good Riddance, we say!
New number to deactivate unwanted mobile services (Times of India)