Saturday, July 25, 2009

PTA efforts aimed at improving consumer protection

Pin It ISLAMABAD (July 25 2009): Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Muhammad Yaseen said on Friday that the PTA had been making efforts to further improve the consumer protection. He said those consumers' satisfaction and protection was first priority of the PTA. Addressing a press conference, the PTA Chairman said Pakistan's telecom sector had seen phenomenal growth during the past decade.

He was of the view that phenomenal progress had brought a lot of benefits to public in terms of network expansion, scope of services, reduction in tariffs and availability of an array of telecom operators with regards to choice of their service-provider. He said the PTA had directed the operators to develop a comprehensive complaint handling and redressal of consumer grievance mechanism in line with the Consumer Protection Regulations 2009.

Dr Yaseen said that a lot of consultation had been done with the industry and general consumer, aimed at keeping everyone on board in bringing up the said regulations and initiatives. "Our next step is the implementation phase for which the PTA along with operators have revamped their complaint handling systems, made them more consumer-oriented, organised and expanded through which consumers can lodge their complaints," he added.

He said the PTA had taken certain steps towards consumer complaint handling and redressal mechanism, which included establishment of Consumer Protection Directorate at PTA headquarters in Islamabad, introduction of Consumer Protection Regulation 2009 and feedback mechanism with telecom industries and public.

He said that the PTA was now at implementation phase and had revamped its complaint handling system and provided a range of modes, including helplines, e-mail system, web mails and fax number, providing the consumers further easement to lodge their complaints.

The PTA Chairman reiterated that the PTA would continue to facilitate its consumers in future. Being a regulator, he said the PTA encouraged holding dialogues with all the stakeholders and inputs from the media, which would help the body in promoting harmonious and co-ordinated efforts for the provision of telecom services in the country.

He said the telecom sector maintained handsome inflow of money to the government exchequer. The vision of telecom growth, coupled with consumer protection as envisaged in the Pakistan Telecom Act, 1996 had been realised through a tele-density of 61.8 percent and the number of an expanding cellular mobile subscriber base that today stood at 93.34 million.

In the last one-year, the PTA had come a long way towards achieving a number of measures that had strengthened the industry and benefited the consumers at large, he added. Today, he said the consumers had the option to choose from a number of service providers, yet it was imperative that operators maintained the standards of service. "Our mechanism of checks and balances will only add to healthy competition and will promote good business in the sector," he added.

The PTA had taken a number of measures for the benefits of consumers, including the establishment of a dedicated Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) at its headquarters in Islamabad. Moreover, consumers could also access the PTA's zonal offices across the provincial capitals for redressal of their complaints, he said.

He said that consumers could also lodge their grievances with the said setups, the contact details of which had been made available to general public and the redressal was achieved by taking up the said matters with the concerned operator to the satisfaction of the complainants. More than 80,000 individual consumer complaints had been received and redressed by the authority since the complaint cell started working.

The Consumer Protection Regulations, 2009, formulated by the PTA, had multiple features, including, service provisioning as per consumer choice, request and without discrimination, no activation or deactivation of services/packages without user consent, fair commercial practices, Consumer Complaint Handling and Redressal Mechanism Categorisation of complaints and many others.

In bringing up the said regulations, a lot of consultation was done with the industry and general consumer with an aim to keep everyone on board. Answering a question, the PTA Chairman said the towers were installed along borders with India and Afghanistan without signal spell over boundaries. Similarly, the regulators of other countries were also installed their telecom towers without spelling over signals to Pakistani areas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the sites that can clearly help with consumer complaints and online posting of the complaints is Pissed Consumer and their Consumer Complaint section


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