TRAI issued Telecom Consumer Protection Guidelines, 2012 to address the concerns of consumers relating to transparency in tariff offers, transparency in the provision of information relating to activation of vouchers, usage, tariff plan subscribed etc. These regulations were amended seven times in the past to address new issues affecting the interest of consumers.
Presently the amendment captures the issue of data service. As we know that the data service in India is pre-activated with every mobile connection. In today’s world the usage of smart phones is increasing which requires continuous updating of the applications. These guidelines take into account the concerns raised by the consumers from time to time relating to data service.
TRAI has issued notification about providing information to consumers on data usage under which every service provider is required to inform to all the consumers of the cellular mobile data service through SMS or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) about the following:
- Usage of data up to a certain limit
- After every 10 megabyte of data used by the consumer, the quantum of data used by consumer
The intimation by a service provider is not included for consumers who have availed through special tariff vouchers or combo vouchers or adds on pack. For those falling under this category, the information on data usage under the following category would be provided when the following are available to consumers:
- Fifty percent data
- Ninety percent data
- One hundred percent data
When the quantum of data available on account of consumer reaches:
- Five Hundred Megabytes
- Hundred Megabytes
- Ten Megabytes
So, when the consumers data is consumed 90% and he is left with only 10 megabyte of data, the consumers are required to be intimated about the tariff plan beyond the quantum available.
Further, the amendment states that the activation and deactivation of service cannot be done without the consent of the subscriber of data service. The same does not includes for data service subscriber availed through special tariff vouchers or combo vouchers or add on pack till the expiry of such validity period.
The consumer can opt to receive information in this regard by opting for NO INFO and sms the same to 1925 however a service provider would then be under no such obligation for providing such information.
Every service provider through SMS or USSD is required to provide information to consumers with an international roaming facility with an advisory to deactivate data service, if not required, when they are on international roaming.