labels: Telecom
TRAI mulls introducing grievance monitoring system, portability in DTH sector news
17 June 2009

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is considering setting up a grievance monitoring system to protect the interests of consumers and to ensure that telecom service providers address and resolve customers complaints within stipulated time frames.

The online consumer grievance redress platform will allow customers to use SMS or internet to post their complaints.

Formed in consultation with service providers, the system will provide suggestions to be followed while addressing consumer complaints.

Commenting on the proposed system, TRAI chairman J S Sarma said, "We are looking at a grievance monitoring system where the regulator will seek update from the service providers on those complaints of customers which have not been addressed for a reasonable period of time."

Currently there exists no system that could tell if customer's complaints on issues like billing or quality of services have been addressed and resolved or not.

Earlier this year, TRAI had introduced amended regulations on quality of services and redressal of grievances for DTH operators. (See: DTH operators can't change channels arbitrarily: TRAI)

TRAI also has on cards a new system to bring portability in the direct-to-home (DTH) services. In the absence of portability, shifting from one DTH service provider to another involves paying new installation fees for a new set top box as well. Portability will allow consumers to shift from one service to another without having to change set top boxes and pay new installation fees.

On portability, Sarma said, "Entry price in DTH is coming down on its own. Growth will now be a function of quality and pricing. Portability in DTH may reduce entry barriers for users.''

TRAI is also looking at other issues such as the tariff structure for cable TV.

According to TRAI member R N Prabhakar, ''We are going to decide on a major issue relating to fixing tariff for cable TV services. As this involves complicated issues, TRAI would seek public opinion by issuing a questionnaire, which will be posted in its website also.''

TRAI is also considering publicising the results of its surveys on the quality of the services being provided by telecom operators. ''We are exploring the option of putting out the results of our quality of services survey in the form of advertisements in newspapers so that consumers are aware. This will certainly have an impact and in the competitive environment, the operators will try to improve. We are exploring this idea, '' Sarma said.

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TRAI mulls introducing grievance monitoring system, portability in DTH sector