In a written reply to Lok Sabha recently, Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora shared that TRAI had received 2,140 service related complaints against operators till June in 2012-13 fiscal. Deora said, “Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has received 2,140 service related complaints, which include deficient and unsatisfactory services in 2012-13, up to June 2012, against telecom operators, including BSNL and MTNL.”

Deora went on to add that the regulatory body received 3,551 complaints in 2009-10, 2,401 in 2010-11 and as many as 4,133 complaints in 2011-12. He affirmed that the individual complaints had been forwarded to the concerned provider for redressal. According to Deora, the regulatory body has put into effect a web-based 'Telecom Consumers Complaint Monitoring System' that will allow consumers to file their complaints with their service providers. This way, consumers can check the status of their complaints online, based on the docket number. 


The complaints have been forwarded to the operators for redressal (Image credit: Getty Images) 

TRAI recently asserted that companies failing to meet the quality of service standards set for mobile and wired telephones would be penalised as per a new amendment. Reports suggested that TRAI was to put into effect “financial disincentives” of Rs.50,000 per parameter for not adhering to the quality norms. Consecutive defaulters would see the disincentives go up to a lakh, it said. Clearly, the move would mean that India's expansive mobile user base would experience less frequent instances of call drops.

Elaborating further, the report explained that suppose if an operator does not reduce the rate of call drops on its network to less than 2 percent within three months of the amendment coming to effect, then the operator would be liable for a fine to the tune of Rs.50,000. It would go up to a lakh, if the operator did not limit the call drop rates in the quarters that follow.

Since quite sometime now, TRAI has been frequenting headlines over its steps to improve the state of affairs in the telecom sector – one of the nation's brightest sectors. In one such move, TRAI recently announced that it will be initiating action against Idea Cellular for not implementing the UCC SMS complaint lodging module. TRAI's run against pesky calls and SMSes isn’t unheard of, and has been on since a while now. In this respect, TRAI had  issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Tenth  Amendment Regulations, 2012” on November 5, 2012 prescribing further measures to tighten the framework for controlling the menace of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).

TRAI had facilitated the option to lodge UCC complaints via SMS, by forwarding the UCC SMS to 1909 along with the telephone number/SMS header and date of receipt of SMS. TRAI, however, found by way of numerous complaints that some of the access providers did not implement the revised procedure for loading UCC complaints by forwarding an SMS. Interestingly, a compliance was sought in this regard from the access providers, and it turned out that all the access providers implemented the revised procedure, barring M/s Idea Cellular Ltd. TRAI, therefore, initated action against the Access Provider. 

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