Indian Telcos to Refund Money to Users Who were Overcharged: TRAI

The new rules will help in reducing the audit burden on the telcos by almost 75%. Further, it will also help in protecting the customers. TRAI has given the telcos flexibility to choose which LSAs to be audited in which quarter.

Highlights

  • The new measures are a part of the 'Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulations, 2023,' dated September 11, 2023.
  • The Indian telecom operators have been asked to return any excess amount they have charged from the consumers.
  • TRAI has accepted the request of the telcos to delete the provision of self-evaluation by service providers before the start of the audit by the auditor.

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indian telcos to refund money to users

The Indian telecom operators have been asked to return any excess amount they have charged from the consumers. According to a new order from the telecom regulatory body, if an audit proves that the telcos have overcharged their customers, then for such instances, the telcos will have to refund the money. Further, the refund has to be done within 3 months of receiving the slip from the auditor that the customers have been overcharged.




TRAI said, "the new regulations put an emphasis on refund of maximum amount in a definite time frame, which have been overcharged from consumers."

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The new measure is a part of the 'Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulations, 2023,' dated September 11, 2023. If the telcos fail to submit the report, they will have to face a financial penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh per report. TRAI has recommended a panel of auditors and the telcos must use them to get their accounts audited.

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However, the regulatory body has also eased the burden on the telcos. Instead of four audits for each LSA (licensed service area) per financial year, the total audit will be reduced to just one per financial year for each LSAs. But to ensure that the customers' interests are put on top, TRAI has ordered the telcos to get the maximum of their tariffs audited instead of the most popular 15 tariffs which was the rule before.

The new rules will help in reducing the audit burden on the telcos by almost 75%. Further, it will also help in protecting the customers. TRAI has given the telcos flexibility to choose which LSAs to be audited in which quarter. Also, TRAI has accepted the request of the telcos to delete the provision of self-evaluation by service providers before the start of the audit by the auditor.

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