Consumers International launches agenda for fair mobile services
Are you irritated by unsolicited calls from telemarketers? Has a caller tune been activated on your mobile phone without your consent? Are you not satisfied with your telecom service provider’s customer care?
Consumers International, the world federation of consumer rights groups, has launched a new consumer agenda for fair mobile services that sets right issues affecting phone users, which includes the need for reliable service, data security, fair contracts and transparent billing. It was launched to mark World Consumer Rights Day, the theme being ‘Fix Your Phone Rights’.
Sibichen K. Mathew, Adviser and Regional Head (Karnataka and Kerala), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), termed unsolicited commercial calls and SMSs as the “biggest nuisance” faced by consumers.
An official of TRAI said subscribers were given the option of blocking calls and messages by registering with the National Customer Preference Register. But very few make of this facility. Many customers complained of being billed for caller tunes not subscribed by them. “Even if the customer has activated value-added services like caller tunes, it is mandatory for the service provider to seek a second confirmation,” the official said.
A toll-free number, 155223, has been assigned to deactivate value-added services through SMS and Interactive Voice Response System. Consumers can send <STOP> to 155223 from their mobile phones.
Users can also receive a list of all value-added services activated on their mobiles by sending a blank SMS to 155223. Few customers are aware about the existence of an Appellate Authority for each service provider. The name, contact number, postal address and e-mail address of the Appellate Authority are provided on the website of all telecom companies, the official said.