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TRAI flags concerns over tariff validity, seeks comments on recharge system

The regulator said though the telcos had been very clear about the validity of tariff recharges, the consumers have in their complaints said these tariffs created confusion and they felt cheated.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
May 14, 2021 3:01:53 am
Trai has also sought to know if it should consider mandating separate tariff orders for 29,30, and 31 days.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday floated a consultation paper to discuss the various aspects of tariff orders and their validity. The regulator said though the telcos had been very clear about the validity of tariff recharges, the consumers have in their complaints said these tariffs created confusion and they felt cheated.

“The consumers have stated in their complaints that not only the same causes confusion but also they feel cheated. It also results in hardships for them as they need to make 13 recharges of the monthly prepaid tariff offering considering the validity period offered as 28 days instead of a month,” Trai said.

Telecom service providers, when consulted on the issue, said that even if a tariff offering for 30 days was mandated by Trai, customers would still have to recharge more than once in a month as some months have 31 days.

“It was pointed out that unlike postpaid services, where a concept of fixed billing cycle on a monthly basis is followed, prepaid services resume from the date of recharge and follow the validity period of tariff expressed in terms of number of days rather than a fixed monthly billing period,” Trai said. In its consultation paper, the telecom regulator had framed four main questions to be answered by stakeholder, which include a discussion on whether Trai should intervene in the issue of validity period or allow it to continue under the forbearance regime as it is, and whether telcos should be mandated or just advised to offer tariff. The third issue on which stakeholders can send their comments, is whether the validity period for tariff to be specified should be considered by default as a 30-day validity period or whether there should be requirement of tariff to be only on the same date of each month, irrespective of the number of days in the month.

Trai has also sought to know if it should consider mandating separate tariff orders for 29,30, and 31 days.

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