Trai issues rules for publications and ads on tariff plans
Telecom regulator Trai on Friday issued a fresh set of rules for publication and advertisement of tariff plans by telcos, in a bid to boost transparency in mobile offers and to help subscribers make informed decisions.
The move assumes significance as telecom subscribers often grapple with issues such as lack of information and vague plan details — a situation that affects subscribers’ ability to make proper choices.
Tightening the rules for telcos, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday issued directions on tariff publication and tariff advertisements.
“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.
“They 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 details or becomes ambiguous and incomprehensible to consumers,” the Trai directive said.
Trai has now directed telcos to publish, service area wise — within 15 days — each tariff plan for postpaid and prepaid subscribers, and offer full information to subscribers at customer care centres, points of sale, retail outlets and websites, and apps with requisite disclosures.
The “essential disclosures”, mandated in Trai’s directive, include information on units/volume of voice, data and SMS, and its rates, limits of usage rates and speeds beyond entitled use. Telcos will also have to transparently inform subscribers about upfront cost along with details such as advance rentals, deposits, connection fee for postpaid services as well as top-up, tariffs vouchers and others.
Trai asserted that “clear, unambiguous and easy to understand” disclosures also have to be made on the validity period of the tariff plan and the last date of bill payment.