TRAI announces new consumer protection regulation primarily to safeguard pre-paid mobile users in India

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has
asked telecom service providers to inform telecom subscribers every time an
amount is deducted from their account for different services.

The new guidelines are expected to protect the interest of telecom consumers
and particularly the prepaid consumers. The telecom regular has given a
deadline of 45 days to Indian telecom operators.


The operators will have to send messages to subscribers
to inform them about the deduction from their account after every call made or
after every data usage session.

This information will include the duration of the call or usage, the charges
deducted, balance available, quantum of data usage. 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.

To ensure that a prepaid consumers get an itemized usage of their accounts, the
service providers have been mandated to provide this within 30 days of a
request being made and at a cost not exceeding Rs.50.

Customers will be provided a start-up kit at the time of registration which
will contain a SIM card, a mobile number and an abridged version of the Citizen’s
Charter on the rights of a consumer.

The pre-paid vouchers offered have also been standardized into three categories
— plan voucher, top-up voucher and special tariff voucher and have been
mandated to be under color bands. The plan voucher will have a red colored
band, the top-up voucher a green colored band and the special tariff voucher a
yellow colored band.

TRAI announced the Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, asking
the operators to set up complaint centers and a web-based complaint monitoring
system within 45 days to help consumers check the status of complaints filed.

The new system will do away with the current three-tier complaint redressal
mechanism and will not have a nodal officer but just the call center and appellate

Customers will also be given a unique docket number and will be informed of the
action taken through SMS.

By Team
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