New complaint number to get unwanted mobile VAS deactivated

New complaint number to get unwanted mobile VAS deactivated New Delhi: Telecom consumers can now register complaint about wrongful activation of value added services (VAS) like mobile Internet and caller tunes on a new common number, 155223, for all operators.

Telecom operators will have to refund the amount charged for such activation of services if consumers inform about it within 24 hours on this common number.

The service has been put in place by telecom operators jointly after telecom regulator Trai refused to give them any leeway in such cases from February 2. Operators reported compliance to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on February 1.

"A common solution has now been devised for all of industry which will enable simple and easy exit. It came onto force on February 1," Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said.

Subscribers who have been using any value added services beyond 24 hours can also request for deactivation of service on this number. Telecom operator will have to deactivate service within four hours of getting phone call but the customer will not be eligible to claim refund in such cases.

On July 4, 2011 Trai directed telecom operators to obtain explicit consent of consumers "through consumer originated SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within 24 hrs of activation of the value added service and charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him" for subscribing it.

The industry has objected to this direction and estimated Rs 12,000 crore revenue loss and over 10,000 job loss on complying with the direction. After failing to convince the regulator, industry body representing GSM players COAI approached telecom tribunal TDSAT but lost.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) gave telecom operators three months time (till February 2) to comply with the direction.

As per the rule, operators will have to take consent of subscribers before activating any VAS and deactivate it without charging for it if no consent is received from them.

Trai has asked operators to inform their subscribers about the new facility and also publish its details in newspapers.

PTI