Telecom operators have opposed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) proposal to revamp the existing system to deal with consumer complaints related to billing.
To this end, telcos including Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, have informed TRAI that the existing system is working fine and digital platforms providing tariff information had made the billing process very transparent.
In its submission to TRAI, Jio has said that the changed structure of tariff has led to simplification of tariff, which is easily understood by subscribers. With adoption of digital means for buying and recharging of telecom products and services, the customer has become well versed with tariffs and billing related matters. Overall increase in transparency has witnessed reduction in overall billing complaints landing on call centres. The existing process of categorising and establishing root cause analysis of billing complaints are well defined, and it is felt that there is no further requirement for micro regulation on further defining the billing complaints.
Meanwhile, Airtel said that TRAI’s existing guidelines are sufficient and adequately protect customers’ interest. Any intrusive regulatory framework would be against the authority’s own stated and practised light-touch regulation policy and would be counterproductive. Any major changes in well-established regulations may also create unnecessary hindrances. Additional provisions relating to metering and billing processes, excessively or unreasonably, shall restrict the ability of telcos to carry on its business.
Further, Vodafone Idea said on the contrary, the authority may reduce the vast categories in the billing complaints to make the audit process simpler and effective.