consumere redressal cell—TRAI’S perspective!

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Indian telecom regulator issues consumer safeguards:

Attempt to quickly resolve consumers’ problems with telecom operators, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has introduced new regulations.

“TRAI has received representations from consumers and consumer organizations that the grievance redressal mechanism established by the service providers needs to be improved by making it more effective and also increasing the awareness among the consumers about the said mechanism,” the regulator said.

According to TRAI, all telecom operators have to establish a complaint center with a toll-free consumer care number, which can be accessed from any telecom operator’s network. Consumers currently do not have the facility to call a customer care of complaint center of their service provider from any other network. The new regulations will allow consumers to call their telecom operator’s complaint center for free.

The regulations also mandate the service providers to implement a Web-based complaint system to allow consumers to monitor the status of their complaints.

Further, the regulator has decided to make the three-tier complaint redressal mechanism into a two-tier one by doing away with the nodal officer.

“This is because the complaint centers are essentially registration and response centers and do not themselves deal with the resolution of complaints. They only facilitate registration of consumer complaint and the level at which a problem is resolved within a company depends upon the complexity of the issue involved. If the consumer is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaints, he can approach the next tier — the appellate authority for redressal of his complaints,” the regulator said.

TRAI has also decided that there would be a two-member advisory committee, composed of one representative of a consumer organization registered with TRAI and one member from the service provider, to advise the appellate authority on appeals filed with the authority.

The new regulations also provide for a citizen’s charter, which will provide details about General Information Number, Consumer Care Number, right of consumers under the different regulations, orders and directions issued by the authority, in particular those relating to tariffs, mobile number portability, value-added services, and the telecom commercial communications customer preference regulations of 2010.



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