Telecom users have long sought easier and familiar procedures for getting their grievances with telecom operators addressed. In the latest development, the DoT wants the proposed amendment to the consumer protection law to clarify that consumer courts can settle disputes between telecom operators and their customers. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is working on amendment to Consumer Protection Act 1986. “DoT has said that proposed amendment to Consumer Protection Act should clearly bring out in respect of telecom service provision that failure of any service provider to provide quality of service would be considered as deficiency of service liable for grievance to be raised before the appropriate consumer forum,” an official source said. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850MbpsAlso Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
Customers at present have to follow a cumbersome process to resolve disputes with their service providers. They have to go through facilities set up by their operator starting with registering complaints with call centre, then approaching the nodal officer and finally going up to Appellate Authority. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has suggested that Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) does not have the wherewithal to resolve individual grievances hence “TRAI may cede powers of consumers grievance to the consumer courts.
The Supreme Court earlier this year struck down the TRAI regulation making it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops holding it as arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent . The apex court passed the judgement on the appeals filed by COAI, a body of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance, challenging the Delhi High Court order which had upheld the TRAI s decision making it mandatory for them to compensate subscribers for call drops from this January. ALSO READ: DoT resolves over 1,000 telecom-related complaints registered on Twitter Sewa