Friday, April 10, 2009

Telecom Consumer Protection Regulations 2009 PTA intends to eradicate hidden service charges

Pin It KARACHI: Pakistan Telecomm-unication Authority (PTA) has intended to eradicate all sorts of hidden service charges of the operators, directing them strictly to inform exact services cost and conditions to consumers.

The PTA directives issued under “Telecom Consumer Protection Regulations, 2009” here on Thursday, asked all telecom operators to ensure that consumers know the exact costs for all services prior to purchase. This should be clearly expressed without any false or misleading information, explicitly disclosing the tariff rates, units of charging, and applicable taxes, etc in their advertisements.

The effective tariffs for all services are in accordance with the tariff as mentioned in advertisement, it added.PTA directed telecom operators not to pre-activate any tariff on consumer, optional in nature, without the consent of consumers.

On billing, it instructed all operators to provide detailed billing information to their consumers in accordance with license terms and conditions, regulations/directives issued by authority, code of commercial practice and service contract as approved by authority.

Regarding service interruption, in case of planned network system enhancement, updates or upgrades, the operators shall give the consumer thirty days prior service interruption notice, telecom watchdog directed.

It further asks the operators shall inform the reasons for the interruption and expected time of restoration of services to the consumers by any SMS, Calls and other means in the case of unforeseen technical interruption/faults.

Operators may withdraw the provision of any service to consumers, provided such withdrawal is approved by the authority and thirty days prior notices is given to consumers.

Subject to prior communication of suspension and disconnection policies to the consumer, an operator may suspend or disconnect rendered services in accordance with their policies.

Operator shall clearly communicate the reasons for suspension/disconnection to the consumer along with the action required on the part of that consumer to avoid such suspension/disconnection.

It also asked that operation shall not suspend or disconnect a service to a consumer on account of which the consumer has paid all the dues, even if the consumer has defaulted in the payment to the operators in relation to some other services.

But they may suspend/disconnect all connections for an individual services to a consumers, which are subscriber by that consumer in his/her own name and the default is not cleared for any one of such connections.

They operator shall not deny access to emergency numbers to a consumers, where the service is suspended for any valid reason.

PTA instructed the operator shall restore services to a consumer within twenty-four hours from when the consumer has taken all remedial steps, to the satisfaction of the operator, in order to rectify the matter resulting in such suspension or disconnection by the operators.

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