The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a set of guidelines for the interests of the prepaid customers. Under the new guidelines, the telecom operators are mandated to provide accurate updates on all the calls made and data usages by a prepaid mobile user. The telcos will have to send the details to the customer via SMS or USSD-based flash message. The details will also include information such as remaining prepaid balance after 2G/3G data usages. The TRAI believes the move will help make prepaid customers more aware about the charges levied by their respective telecom operators.
Among other notable changes have been specified by the TRAI is simplification of tariff vouchers. For easier identification, different vouchers will be given colour coding. The vouchers have been categorised as Plan Voucher, Top Up Voucher and Special Tariff Voucher (STV).
The Plan Voucher will be used for enrolling a consumer into a tariff plan. The voucher may also be used for enrolling a new customer or an existing customer. The Top Up Voucher will only feature monetary value ( in rupees) and shall be without any restrictions in terms of validity period or usage. The Special Tariff Voucher or STV could alter one or more items of applicable tariff in the consumer tariff plan in terms of limited or unlimited usage of voice calls, SMS or data. The validity of any STV shall not exceed ninety days. The STVs will not have any monetary value.
Also, the prepaid customers can avail full details of their account by placing a request to the telecom operator. The charges shall not exceed Rs. 50 and the information will be provided within 30 days to the consumer sent the request.
The new guidelines are part of the Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2012, which is available on TRAI website www.trai.gov.in.