India Business
TRAI tells telecom firms to set up redressal system
May 4, 2007 - 3:57:11 PM

New Delhi, May 4 - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India - Friday brought out a new regulation for all telecom service providers, including broadband providers, to implement an effective mechanism to address consumers' grievances.

TRAI's new regulation - Telecom Consumers Protection and Redressal of Grievances Regulations, 2007 - has been brought to ensure effective, speedy and inexpensive way to address consumers' grievances, especially at a time when India is adding over seven million telephone subscribers a month.

'This directive has been notified to all telecom services providers, who are providing basic services, cellular mobile service and broadband service, including BSNL and MTNL,' Nripendra Misra, chairman of TRAI, told IANS.

'This regulation will be effective from the date of commencement of the regulation ...when it will be published in the government's official gazette ... in another one or two days,' Misra added.

According to the new directive, the service providers will have to set up their own individual call centres within 60 days from the date of commencement of the regulation.

They would also have the option to appoint a nodal officer for each area within one month so that they can easily reach the consumers for solving their problems.

TRAI has also asked the firms to designate a higher authority in each service area, where a consumer can appeal if dissatisfied with the service. The telecom operators have also been asked to provide consumers with manuals detailing the consumer's rights and obligations.

Once the regulation comes into force, consumers can contact the call centre of their service provider and address their grievances. It has also been mandated that complaints related to fault repair, service disruption and disconnection be attended within three days of the complaint, and seven days in case of other problems.

And in case a service provider violates the rules, strict action would be taken against that provider.

'Violations of any kind would call for strict legal action,' said M.C. Chaube advisor, quality of service, TRAI.

According to TRAI, as the telecom industry in India burgeons, consumers cannot be neglected at any cost. It added that with the telecom providers competing with each other by lowering tariffs and bringing out new packages, the consumers have been grossly neglected.

Before bringing out this new regulation, TRAI had taken consumers' views, held open house discussions with various organisations like the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India - and the Cellular Operators Association of Indian -.

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