It is certainly one of the most noteworthy achievements of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Following the release of strict guidelines regarding VAS Activations for mobile subscribers, the complaints regarding wrongful activations of the same have dropped by about 87%.
In the month of July of this year, TRAI had released revised set of guidelines that were intended to streamline the MVAS activation process. Essentially TRAI directed telecom operators to take ‘Double Confirmation’ from consumers before activating Value Added Services. Additionally, the telecom companies were mandated to refund money of subscriber, if a complaint is made within 24 hours, for services that are valid for more than a day. If the services were activated for less than 24 hours, the companies had just 6 hours to respond.
TRAI had offered a free, pan–India number to the subscribers who wished to complain about wrongful VAS Activations. The number, 155223 can be used on any network. The results of the strict guidelines highlighted the amount of malpractices the telecom companies were involved in.
Within a single month of the new rules, complaints were reduced by almost 50%. The total number of complaints dropped to 95,510 in August, which, in the month of July were as high as 1,85,468. As a logical extension, the Value Added Services activation on mobile network too reduced by about 57%. In June, when rules were not laid out, there were about 7 Crores activations, whereas in June when rules were in place they dropped to 3 Crores.
Wrongful activation of VAS is a simple occurrence when a customer is charged for any additional services he or she hasn’t asked for. Telecom companies regularly activated services like Caller Tunes and then charged the subscribers for the same. Double Confirmation mandated the telecom companies to seek confirmation twice before activating such services. This enhanced awareness and ensured customers were willingly acquiring the same with complete knowledge.