BSNL Will Penalize Vendors In Case of Forced VAS Activation

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In a bid to effectively arrest or stop forcibly activation the VAS without the consent of subscriber, Pan India 3G mobile service operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) announced new guidelines over VAS Activation.

With the new guidelines, BSNL field units will check forced activation of VAS services by VAS providers by specific procedure. If any VAS content provider activate the service without the consent of BSNL subscriber, will penalized by Rs.10,000 to 50,000.

Capping on penalty for a month period, will be 25% of cost of content/ service paid/ due to VAS provider for previous month. Instances of forced activation are to be calculated on month basis. Services will be put on suspension as soon as consolidated penalties for a month reach to maximum amount till the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of BSNL.

BSNL VAS Activation Guidelines :

1. If VAS provider initiated call or Out Bound Dialled (OBD) IVR Call, the process of confirmation and reconfirmation, including procedure for un-subscription, shall be followed by VAS provider for obtaining the explicit consent of the BSNL customer, for activation of the Value Added Service as prescribed by TRAI.

2. The charges for the selected value added service is again announced and the customer is told to reconfirm subscription to the value added service by IVR.

3. The subscription to the value added service is also acknowledged through Short Message Service (SMS) immediately after the confirmation by way of announcement as referred to in the preceding step, indicating therein the charges and relevant details of the VAS such as fixed subscription charge, other onetime charges and any recurring charges, validity period of service, including toll free telephone number for un-subscribing the service through Interactive Voice Recorder (IVR) or voice or Short Message Service (SMS), as the case may be.

4. In case the subscriber seeks to un-subscribe the value added service within twenty-four hours from the time of its activation on the ground that the subscription to such service was unintentional or accidental, the service provider shall un-subscribe such value added service and shall reimburse or credit to the customer's account the charges, if any, deducted or levied for subscription to such value added services.

5. BSNL CMTS nodal centre of concerned zone will verify that VAS providers are following instructions contained in above Para. In case of observation of first instance of noncompliance of said instruction, suitable warning with correction period of 10 days shall be issued by nodal centre and if non-compliance is observed after correction period, connectivity for OBD may be suspended till the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of BSNL.

6. The VAS provider shall inform the subscriber through Short Message Service (SMS) in advance as stipulated by TRAI, before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service about the due date for renewal, the charges for renewal and the toll free telephone number for un-subscribing of such value added service. CMTS Nodal centre of concerned zone shall frequently verify text of SMS.

7. Complaints related to VAS shall be booked by either call centre or CSCs through CCM and subsequently these cases shall be forwarded to CMTS nodal centre of concerned zone. Other interface to subscriber may forward the complaints to nodal centre.

8. BSNL Nodal centre will conduct an inquiry and resolve complaints within 72 hrs. VAS providers shall extend all reasonable facilities and shall endeavour to remove the hindrance of every type upon such inquiry. VAS providers are bound to provide, without any delay the tracing facility to trace records related to provisioning of service to subscriber.

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