The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive to service providers asking them to obtain confirmation, either through SMS, e-mail or fax, within 24 hours of activation of a value added service (VAS).
The move follows a spate of complaints from customers, stating that service operators activate VAS services without either the knowledge or consent of the user and then penaqlise them, if they refuse to pay for the unwanted services.
Redressing gthe complainst, TRAI's directive states, "...the service provider shall obtain confirmation from the consumer through SMS or e-mail or Fax or in writing within twenty four hours of activation of the VAS,'' TRAI said in its directive.
"He should charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him for such value added service and shall discontinue if no confirmation is received," it added.
Further, every service provider shall, at least three days before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service, inform the consumer through SMS.
If there is insufficient balance in the pre-paid account of a consumer at the time of renewal of subscription to a value added service, the service provider shall send a request, through SMS.
Last year, TRAI had floated a consultation paper seeking comments from telecom operators on measures for protecting consumers' interest and redressal of customer grievances.
The paper was aimed a strengthening the regulatory framework and provide adequate protection to telecom consumers.