Mobile TowerTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued new guidelines to the telecom service providers, on the procedures for activation and deactivation of Value Added Services (VAS) so as to protect the interest of users.

Users have been complaining about the activation/deactivation procedure of such services for some time now, and this has become a major concern for TRAI as well. These guidelines by the regulatory authority essentially prescribe that a uniform procedure common to all service providers should be set up and the explicit consent of the consumer should be obtained for activation of value added services through different modes.

Some of the key guidelines are:

  • VAS activation procedure to include all forms of activations and scenarios –OBD, IVRS, WAP, Mobile Internet, USSD, SMS, Tele-calling and any other mode of activation.

  • The service provider has to provide a system which takes a second consent from the customer before providing a value added service through any means- OBD, IVRS, WAP, Mobile Internet, USSD, SMS, Tele-calling or any other mode of activation.

  • Common deactivation procedure using toll Free Common Short Code 155223 and all requests for de-activation to be completed in 4 hours.

  • 24hrs before auto renewals of the VAS services, information about renewals to be provided to the customers, through SMS and Outbound Dialing (OBD).

  • In case of wrong activation, the amount shall be refunded within 24 hours of the customer’s request.

  • Upon activation of VAS service, the de-activation number, the validity of the VAS service and charges for renewal should be explicitly informed.

  • Monthly report on activations, deactivations and complaints received and their redressal to be submitted to TRAI.

Off late TRAI has been trying on a clean up mode and have been trying to address all users complaints. In May the regulator has said that if a user complains of being spammed by someone, the telecom service provider must disconnect all telecom resources allotted to the spammer after investigation.

These guidelines also come at time when telecom subscribers have been seeing a marginal decline in number of mobile subscribers in the urban circles.

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