India telecom operators asked to explain customer complaints

On Wednesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued show-cause notices to five mobile operators, questioning complaints by customers concerning overcharging and portability regulations.

Telecom customers from Reliance Communications Ltd., Vodafone Essar, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Loop Telecom and Idea Cellular Ltd. have complained of overcharging and unfair rejection of porting requests.

According to TRAI, directions were issued in May of this year stating the specific grounds of which a telecom operator can reject a porting request under contraction obligation.

Telecom providers can reject porting request under contractual obligation if the customer has a post-paid plan with a bundled handset, or if a corporate customer has not complied with the exit clause.

The other complaint TRIA received from customers involved the overcharging of customers. According to TRIA, it issued a statment in December of 2010 to all telecom operators prohibiting extra charges associated with SMS messages sent to the number “1900.” Telecom operators were allegedly charging 10 rupees per SMS message to this “1900” number, which allows customers to receive a porting code.
All four telecom operators were issued Show Cause Notices in violation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Regulations dating back to 2009.

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