The Department of Telecommunications has issued directions to telecom operators to address public grievances in a month’s time. The move will help the authority in resolving consumer complains about issues like call drops. The development has come after the Prime Minister made his comments on the subject of the massive number of consumer complains on various matters during a meeting held in March. During the analysis of public grievances across varied sectors, DoT shed light on the fact that complaints coming to DoT through Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) take anywhere from 60 to 180 days for resolution.
The DoT admitted to the problems, hinting that the issue has been a long existing one. The department said, “This has been viewed adversely by higher authorities in various review meetings.”
In its direction to the telecom operators, the department said: “All telecom service providers are requested to try their best to redress the grievances well within the time frame as specified in Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regulations or within a month time as desired by the Hon'ble Prime Minister.” The DoT further added, “If any case is taking more than specified time of one month, then proper reason/ explanation of delay and expected time to redress the grievance should be intimated to the complainant and a downloadable copy of intimation may be uploaded to CPGRAMS.”
The highest decision-making body in the telecom sector, the Telecom Commission has also taken a step in this regard. In a recent event hosted by CUTS International, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan spoke that the DoT receives around 40 million complains in a year. Also, the department has found the existing method of grievance redressal to be inefficient. To bring a change in the methodology, Telecom Commission has also cleared a proposal to set up an ombudsman under the sector regulator.
To recall, CPGRAMS is an initiative taken to address consumer grievances, and it took off in the year 2007. The platform allows the consumers to submit their complaints online across the various sector. In the current year, more than 9 lakh complaints have been made out of which 8.23 lakh faced disposal.
To change things, DoT has emphasised sensitising officials and executives towards faster redressal of grievances and has also said that all the consumer complains coming in through any source, including CPGRAMS, should be resolved under 30 days.