Trai has directed operators to not instantly disconnect Companies of shoppers with “sufficient” pre-paid steadiness because it took sturdy observe of telcos asking such customers to go in for necessary month-to-month recharge plan. The Telecom regulator got here down closely on the operators after it acquired complaints from subscribers that they’re being despatched textual content messages to “mandatorily” recharge their pay as you go accounts as a way to proceed to avail Companies.
These subscribers rued that the messages are being despatched despite their pre-paid accounts having “sufficient balance”. “Tariff and plans are under forbearance and we don’t generally intervene. But if there is sufficient money in the account and despite that people are being told that the services will be disconnected, it is not correct,” Trai Chairman RS Sharma advised reporters right here. The directive on this regard has gone out to operators on Tuesday, he added.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) met operators earlier this week and is at the moment inspecting the problem in its entirety. In the meantime, it has requested operators to “duly inform subscribers in a clear and transparent manner the date on which the current validity of existing plan would expire and the manner in which the subscriber can opt for the available plans including minimum recharge plan using subscriber’s available pre-paid account balance or otherwise”.
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It additionally requested operators to supply all this data to subscribers via SMS instantly and “not later than 72 hours”. Trai in its directive to operators mentioned, “till such time, services of such customers who have balance in pre-paid accounts equal to minimum recharge amount, should not be discontinued”.
The Telecom sector has been bruised by falling tariffs, eroding profitability, and mounting debt within the face of stiff competitors triggered by disruptive choices of Reliance Jio, owned by Mukesh Ambani. Two of the biggest operators — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — need to enhance their income realisation per person and have introduced minimal month-to-month recharge plans ranging from Rs 35.