The prepaid sector in India has been stifled with a new problem lately. With the telecom operators vying to increase their revenue, average revenue per user (ARPU), and weeding out non-paying customers, the subscribers of these telcos have donned a sour attitude because they aren’t happy with the introduction of minimum recharges just for the sake of keeping their incoming and outgoing calls up and running. The situation was also taken up seriously as we saw the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) intervene and notices were sent to the telcos directing them to not disconnect services of any subscriber without proper intimation via SMS. Now it seems, that another private telecom operator, Tata Docomo has joined the bandwagon of these telcos introducing the minimum recharges.
Tata Docomo Removes All Talk Time Plans
It’s no doubt that every telecom operator in India has suffered the blow of the extreme data tariff war and Tata Docomo comes as no exception. With the same results in mind, Tata Docomo has resorted to the same way and has removed all its prepaid top-up plans. Replacing these plans, Tata Docomo has introduced minimum recharges of Rs 35 and Rs 65. Many subscribers of Tata Docomo in circles like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu received an SMS which read, “Wef 30-Nov-18 all Topup & Full TT RCs are closed except RC10/1000/5000. You may recharge RC35/65.”
Now with the intimation in place as per the latest Trai guidelines, Tata Docomo customers who don’t have an active plan in their prepaid account will be required to do a minimum recharge of Rs 35 so that they continue receiving calls and are not completely barred from Docomo’s service. Furthermore, Tata Docomo also introduced a Rs 23 prepaid recharge which extends the validity by 28 days.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Already Removed Top-Up Plans
To recall, only a few weeks ago Airtel and Vodafone Idea had removed talk time plans from their portfolio thus marking a new milestone in the telecom industry. Now the telcos are only shipping combo plans along with minimum recharges which will serve the purpose of keeping the subscriber’s account running. Although this move was made by the companies to better their financials, to remove non-paying customers and to have a premium customer base, the decision was not met with satisfaction as a lot of consumers complained about abrupt disconnection of service despite them having “sufficient” account balance.
Later Trai intervened in the matter and directed the telecom operators to properly intimate the subscribers about when their services will be disconnected along with listing the available options and methods through which they can opt for the available plans or minimum recharges through their existing account balance. Trai also directed that unless SMS aren’t sent to subscribers informing them about the same, no services should be stopped for the subscribers.