TRAI moots tele­com om­buds­man to re­solve con­sumer com­plaints

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

Tele­com reg­u­la­tor TRAI has sought pub­lic opin­ion on set­ting up of an om­buds­man in the sec­tor, for speedy res­o­lu­tion of ris­ing sub­scriber com­plaints over is­sues such as wrong billing and poor ser­vice qual­ity. Moot­ing the cre­ation of a tele­com om­buds­man to sort out cus­tomer com­plaints, TRAI, in its lat­est con­sul­ta­tion pa­per, has also sought views on modal­i­ties such as le­gal frame­work, struc­ture, fund­ing and the type of com­plaints that should be han­dled by the sec­tor om­buds­man.

Be­sides this, the pow­ers, func­tions and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of such a body will be dis­cussed as part of the con­sul­ta­tion pa­per on ‘Com­plaints/Griev­ance re­dres­sal in tele­com sec­tor’.

The con­sul­ta­tion pa­per puts a spot­light on the sub­scribers ‘fil­ing large num­ber of com­plaints with the tele­com ser­vice provider’, the ‘un­sat­is­fac­tory res­o­lu­tion of con­sumer com­plaints’ by the op­er­a­tors, and the ‘dis­sat­is­fac­tion’ with the cur­rent re­dres­sal mech­a­nism. These, TRAI said, are re­sult­ing in com­plaints and griev­ances be­ing for­warded to TRAI and the de­part­ment of tele­com. “It is im­per­a­tive that con­sumer com­plaints and pub­lic griev­ances in the tele­com space are re­solved in a timely, ef­fi­cient and cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner through a sys­tem that is eas­ily avail­able all across the coun­try,” it said, adding that in ab­sence of such a sys­tem the ben­e­fits of tele­com rev­o­lu­tion will miss the in­tended tar­get.

TRAI has, in ef­fect, re­vived its 2004 rec­om­men­da­tion of es­tab­lish­ment of an om­buds­man to han­dle un­re­solved com­plaints in the sec­tor – a sug­ges­tion which, at that time, had not been favoured by the govern­ment.

In ad­di­tion, the TRAI pa­per seeks pub­lic opin­ion on is­sues rang­ing from changes re­quired to strengthen the ex­ist­ing sys­tem, to es­tab­lish­ment of a separate—in­de­pen­dent and em­pow­ered—struc­ture to re­solve in­di­vid­ual sub­scribers’ com­plaints.

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