The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today issued new directions on tariff advertisements and tariff publications for telcos. The new set of rules issued by Trai is in a bid to boost transparency in mobile offers published by telcos on their respective websites and other platforms. The regulator is aiming to help subscribers make informed decisions while choosing a tariff plan. For those who are unaware, a lot of customers of telecom operators complain to Trai that they are unable to find proper information regarding a tariff plan or they might not be able to find a reported or advertised plan on the company's website. With the new set of rules, Trai is looking to solve these issues of the subscribers which is affecting their ability to make proper choices.
Trai Seeks More Transparency from Telcos on Publishing Tariffs
Over the last few years, we have seen Trai constantly introducing or asking telecom operators to be more transparent when it comes to publishing the tariff plans. Trai issued two new orders; "…it has been observed that existing measures adopted by telecom service providers are not transparent as they should be and that some of the telecom service providers are not prominently highlighting additional terms and conditions and are also collating the terms and conditions applicable to various tariffs on a single web-page and that the relevant information either gets lost in the maze of detail or becomes ambiguous and incomprehensible to consumers," the Trai said in one of the directives.
Furthermore, the regular has asked the telcos to publish details of each tariff plan for postpaid and prepaid users within 15 days and that too service area wise. Trai also directed telcos to offer full information regarding the published tariff plans to users at their "customer care centres, points of sales, retail outlets and websites, and apps with requisite disclosures."
Telcos Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vi and BSNL should also inform the customers 'essential disclosures' like the amount of data, voice and SMSes, along with the FUP limit for every plan. Furthermore, Trai also stated that telcos would have to be transparent in informing the customers about details like advance rentals, deposits, connection fee for postpaid services as well as top up, tariffs vouchers and others.
Lastly, Trai asked telcos to submit a compliance report within 15 days from today. It will be interesting to see how telcos respond to these directions from Trai.