Seeking to put an end to customer complaints of lack of clarity in the charges of mobile service providers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked the operators to publish their tariff plans in newspapers - at least one in a regional language and another in English.
"Notwithstanding several steps taken by TRAI in the past to enhance transparency in tariff offers, the authority continues to receive complaints from consumers and their representatives alleging lack of transparency and resultant confusion for subscribers due to the multiplicity of tariff plans available," the sector regulator said in a directive to cell service operators on Monday.
The new rules take effect next month. "Tariffs must be published in at least one regional and one English paper. The new formats will be adopted by telcos by 3 February. Tariff plans must be tabulated for easy comparison," TRAI said.
These tariffs must be published every six months in a format which clearly differentiate between prepaid and post-paid plans.
"Companies must submit publication compliance report to TRAI. At all points of sale, telco sites will display tariff plans. Information on telcos' websites must be updated at all times," the directive said. Tariff information at points of sale must be updated on quarterly basis.
Continuing its efforts to protect pre-paid customers who form the bulk of cellphone users in India, the authority has also ordered standardising of the vouchers offered by service providers to ensure clarity and help consumers comprehend the nature of various vouchers.