The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sought the opinion of interested parties on relaxing fixed-line and mobile phone service quality norms, including issues like fault repair, customer care response to complaints of overbilling, and other consumer grievances.
According to the proposals, the telecom regulator can impose a penalty up to Rs10 lakh if a telecom operator fails to meet quality of service (QoS) standards.
In their feedback to TRAI, Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have sought relaxation of QoS rules as they face practical issues in meeting the laid down parameters.
"However, before taking a final view on the presentations of the TSPs, the authority has decided to seek views of all stakeholders on various constraints/difficulties pointed out by TSPs in achieving the QoS benchmarks," TRAI said in a consultation paper.
Under present norms, telecom operators are required to address 90 per cent complaints within 24 hours and 100 per cent within 3 days in urban areas. For rural and hilly areas, it is 90 per cent by the next day and 100 per cent within 5 days.
Telecom operators have sought more time for resolving complaints. They have requested this to be made to 70 per cent by next working day, 90 percent in 3 days and 100 per cent within 5 days in urban areas.
For rural and hilly areas, TSPs want it to be made to 70 per cent by the next day, 80 per cent in 3 days, 90 per cent in 5 days and 100 per cent within 7 days.
TSPs have expressed the view that faults booked after 5 pm in the evening can be marked for resolution only by 10 am next morning. This compounds the delay in attending the faults by the next working day.
The existing benchmark is that telecom operators have to resolve all complaints within 4 weeks. TSPs have requested that this should be changed to 98 per cent within 4 weeks and 100 per cent within 8 weeks.
Similarly, telecom operators have requested relaxation in QoS rules on time taken by customer care centre to respond to call, closure of service, fault incidents, mean time to repair and period of applying credit, waiver or adjustment to the customer's account.
TRAI has fixed June 12 as the deadline for public comments and June 19 for counter comments.