Customers’ consent must for providing value-added services

April 27th, 2009 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The telecom watchdog Monday directed service providers to ensure transparency and take the consent of consumers before activating any value-added service (VAS).
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), service providers should provide all details of the VAS offer to customers.

“Before the activation of the value-added service, such explicit consent shall be obtained by means of a customer originated call or SMS to a specified number or a request made by the customer in writing or by fax or e-mail,” the TRAI said in a statement.

Even free services like music or video-related VAS should not be provided without the consumer’s consent, the watchdog said.

The directive comes in the wake of a number of complaints from consumers, alleging activation of caller ring back tunes without their explicit consent.

The TRAI has also conducted a survey to gauge the customer satisfaction regarding VAS provided by the service operators. Out of these, about 24 percent of respondents said the VAS were provided to them without their consent.

The watchdog has asked all service providers, including the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, to comply with the directions within 45 days of the issue.

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