TRAI is planning to review transparency in telecom tariff offers

At a time when telecom operators have decided to raise tariffs, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has now said that it plans to review the transparency factor in the publication of tariff plans and offers rolled out by the companies.

TRAI said that it is doing so to protect consumers’ interests and added that there’s a need for transparent sharing of the complete set of information relating to tariff, including the rates and related conditions for provision of services.

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Further, it added that the body has received a significant number of complaints from individual consumers relating to lack of transparency in disclosure of tariff information. In its consultation paper, the regulator has asked the stakeholders whether it should prescribe any format for publishing tariffs.

The TRAI consultation paper said: “It has been observed that the actual tariff applicable to a customer may sometime be quite distinct from the tariff given in the tariff plan voucher. The reason for the same lies in the fact that the service providers provide various tariff options to customers in form of STVs (special tariff voucher) and CVs (combo voucher) which can change the applicable tariff.”

The regulatory framework regarding the transparency in publishing of tariff offers is primarily governed by the “2012 Tariff Offers Publishing Directions” as modified by a order dated April 3, 2019. Telecom service providers (TSPs) are currently required to ensure that the tariff plans are updated on their website and customer care centers every time there is a change in any of the tariff offerings.