Rights of the Consumer
The cable operator cannot change the composition of subscription package subscribed to by the consumer during the first six month of subscription or during the entire period if subscription amount has been paid in advance. However, if the channels are not available in the platform of the cable operator, the cable operator shall reduce the subscription charges payable by the consumer by an amount equivalent to the à-la-carte rate of such channel from the date of discontinuance of the channel. What is the mode of payment of subscription charges in DAS? The cable operator offers the cable services in DAS on both prepaid and postpaid models. It is up to the subscriber to choose the model of subscription.
The subscriber is billed generally on a monthly basis and the bill shall contain the service tax registration number and the entertainment tax registration number of the multi-system operator. If using prepaid, the consumer can ask for information relating to the itemized usage charges showing actual usage of service, by paying a reasonable cost to the operator as determined by the cable operator for such details.
Consumer Complaint Redressal
Consumers must note that it is mandatory for every cable operator to establish a complaint centre where the service-related complaints and service requests can be placed by the consumer. The consumer care number must be toll-free and the cable operator should provide a docket number for each complaint. Besides, the cable operator must have a Web-based complaint monitoring system where consumers can place their request and monitor the status of their complaint. In case a consumer is not satisfied with the redressal of his complaints through the complaint centre, he can approach the nodal officer of the operator. There must be one or more nodal officer in every state in which the cable operator is providing the service.
The consumer complaints are to be responded to within eight hours. The time limit for redressing complaints by the call centre and nodal officers has been given in the ‘quality of service regulations’ for DAS. These regulations are available on the TRAI website: www.trai.gov.in. The consumer can ask for details of the schemes offered by the cable operator and ask the cable operator for terms and conditions of subscription and using the STB. The consumer can ask for receipt for the payment
made by him. The consumer can ask for details of his bill under prepaid subscription by paying a reasonable amount fixed by the cable operator. Consumer can suspend his cable service for a period of one month to three months, giving 15 days’ notice in advance. The consumer is not required to pay subscription charge except rental for STB (if any). The consumer has the right to seek redressal under Consumer Protection Act, 1986, or any other law for the time being enforced.
Information source: TRAI website