The Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) held an outreach programme involving service providers, representatives from consumer forums, students and other stakeholders in Madikeri on 21 January in which suggestions to improve telecom services and a few complaints were received.
Regional Head of TRAI, Karnataka and Kerala, Sibichen K. Mathew, presided over the programme and said it aimed to create awareness among the telecom consumers about their rights and privileges. Three complaints with regard to BSNL broadband services were received.
A suggestion made by a Class IX student from a school pertained to ‘blackout days’ when consumers would have to pay extra tariff for making calls and availing other services. Another wanted the TRAI to initiate steps to inform the service providers to allow display of names of callers (whose names are not stored in the phones) in the event of missed calls. The ‘not reachable’ calls should not be considered a paid service, another individual suggested.
Mr. Mathew said that digitisation of the cable TV network had been completed in four metro cities and 38 other major city centres.
Mysore and Bangalore are the two cities in Karnataka that would be covered under digitisation by January 31, 2014. Digitisation of cable TV would provide various value-added services including broadband for the consumers, he said.
He said prepaid consumers could get itemised usage for calls, SMS, data and value-added services (VAS) from the service providers for any period. Consumers were free to migrate from one plan to another plan without any charge, Mr. Mathew said.
The billing complaints would be resolved within four weeks and the service providers would have to offer special plans for ‘roaming’ subscribers in which they could avail partial free roaming or full free roaming in lieu of payment of fixed charges.
Mr. Mathew listed the initiatives taken for consumer protection. The consumers could visit www.tccms.gov.in to locate the consumer care number, general information number, contact details of the complaint centre and Appellate Authority of the service provider.