Reliance is infamous for its VAS activation without customer consent. Recently TRAI had taken several steps to ensure full customer consent before activating any VAS pack. Reliance now using its annoying service messages to trap customers into getting VAS packs activated on their number.
Customer Experience #1
One of our readers sent this picture of Reliance service message on his newly activated number. His old Nokia phone gave only two option to exit the message. In case if he accidentally click OK, Reliance would activate the pack and take the amount from his account. As we know Nokia phones use the same right selection key for unlocking the phone, there is a high chance customer hit OK accidentally. When contacted customer care they advised to activate DND, which would take 7 long days. Does Reliance expect every customers to activate DND just so they could use a Reliance connection?
I am using Reliance on my data card for many years. Since I had experienced Reliance VAS deductions in past I had activated DND with preference 6 about 2 years ago. DND preference enable me to receive Reliance special offer and SMS while blocking all other messages outside Communication/broadcasting domain. Recently I started getting these service messages in form SMS on my data card. Everyday I would get about 5 messages with contents like Dating app, Bikini pics.
When tried to register a DND complaint by sending SMS to 1909 in prescribed format, I got reply “Invalid Keyword”. So contacted customer care and they asked me to deactivate service message, which no data card or modern smartphone has this option. I raised the issue with Appellate authority and after several arguments they said they will take this as a feedback.
VAS becomes annoying in digital age
VAS revenue for all operators went down drastically with entry of smartphone. As we already know these VAS pictures and videos are available free to download on the internet, there is no point in paying Rs 5-25 to your operator. Apart from caller tunes all other VAS content are of no use to the customers. But still operators use VAS to lure customers into spending for these service. Even after several steps taken by TRAI to put an end to VAS misuse by operators it is still not effective.
Please share your view on these VAS service of operators by comments.
Inputs : Sandeep Pillai
An IT professional who has got great passion for telecom. Has been closely watching Indian telecom space since 2009.