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Ms. Indu Malhotra
 

Ms. Indu Malhotra

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    Ms. Indu Malhotra Ms. Indu Malhotra Presentation Transcript

    • TDSAT Seminar 20 th October, 2007 Srinagar Consumer Rights under the TRAI Act, 1997 & Redressal of Consumer Grievances by Indu Malhotra Sr. Advocate Supreme Court of India
    • INTRODUCTION
      • TRAI
      • TDSAT
    • TELECOM REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF INDIA ACT,1997
      • TRAI was constituted to regulate the Telecommunication services by TRAI Act,1997.
      • Later, Broadcasting & Cable services were also brought within its purview by the Amendment Act of 2000.
      • Within a decade, the TRAI has played an effective role in regulating this industry by open house discussions, framing Regulations, Issuing Notifications & Tariff Orders, organizing seminars at various locations.
    • TRAI: THE REGULATOR
      • TRAI has taken various steps to protect the interest of the Consumers.
      • The consumers interests have been protected by TRAI broadly under the following heads :
      • 1. Access – through “Must Provide Clause on non discriminatory basis”
      • 2. Quality
      • 3. Price
      • 4. Choice- mode, program and price.
    • QUALITY & CHOICE
      • Under S.11(1)(b)(v) the TRAI lays down standards of quality of service so as to protect the consumer interest
      • Over the last few years, the number of channels have rapidly multiplied
      • At present, the number of channels being offered are far in excess than what can be carried through the existing analogue systems
      • TRAI recommended to GOI to bring digital transmission in Cable TV industry.
      • In the analogue mode the max no. of channels that can be transmitted are about 70, with a choked bandwidth.
      • Today there are 260 channels registered with the GOI.
      • Digital transmission will give greater choice to consumers by increased channel carrying capacity, better reception of quality and new features such as program guides etc.
      • Digital technology in cable TV must take place at the earliest for the cable medium to compete with other delivery platforms for signal distribution.
    • PRICING
      • TRAI has issued various notifications/tariff orders to regulate pricing of pay channels.
      • TRAI issued tariff Order dt. 15.1.2004 freezing the price of all pay channels as on 26.12.2003.
      • A further enhancement by 7% was permitted w.e.f 1.1.2005.
      • In CAS areas, for pay channels, by notification dated.31.8.2006 ceiling was fixed at Rs.5 in consumer interest.
      • In non CAS areas the TRAI has issued Tariff (Eighth Amendment) Order 4.10.2007( effective from 1.12.2007) fixing a ceiling at Rs.260 in A1 & A cities for 45 pay channels & 30 FTA
      • TRAI has also now mandated every broadcaster to specify and offer all channels on a-la-carte rate, in addition to a bouquet rate.
    • RECENT MEASURES
      • The Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations 2007 notified on 5.6.2007 to curb unsolicited commercial calls through telemarketing to protect consumers from invasion on privacy.
      • There are over 212 million telephone subscribers across the country today.
      • The Authority does not ban telemarketing, but only restricts the incidence of unwanted UCC ( Unwanted Commercial Communication).
    • SALIENT FEATURES
      • To make telemarketers accountable, TRAI has mandated compulsory registration with DOT within 3 months.( effective on publication )
      • Hence only a registered telemarketer can be subscriber of a Telecom Service provider.
      • If an existing telemarketer fails to register within the stipulated period, the SPs have been authorised to disconnect their telephone connection
      • TRAI has mandated all access providers to will set up a mechanism to receive request from the subscribers who do not want to receive UCC.
      • They will maintain a Private Do Not Call List which will include telephone numbers and other detaild of such subscribers’
      • This data will be updated to a NDNC Registry.
      • The NDNC registry to be established in 3 months time by the National Informatics Centre.
      • After the establishment of the NDMC registry, telephone subscribers ( landline or cellular ) can register their telephone nos with the SPs for inclusion in the NDNC.
      • Telemarketers will have to verify their calling numbers list with the NDNC Registry before making a call.
    • COMPLAINTS OF UCC
      • In case a subscriber receives UCC after expiry of 45 days from registration in the NDNC Register he may make a Complaint to his Service provider.
      • The SP shall within 7 days verify & investigate the complaint, and WARN the guilty telemarketer to discontinue the sending of such UCC to the complainant.
      • If the UCC is repeated, a 2 nd time , the originating access provider shall charge the tariff specified in the Telecom Tariff Order 1999 as amended by the Telecom Tariff ( 45 th Amendment) Order, 2007 to be charged from the sender by the access SP.
      • If the customer sends the UCC for the 3 rd time, the originating access provider shall disconnect the telephone of the guilty telemarketer.
    • TDSAT: THE ADJUDICATOR
      • TDSAT established under S.14 of the TRAI Act,1997 as amended by the Amendment Act,2000.
      • Under S.14 it is empowered to adjudicate disputes between:-
      • A licensor and licensee
      • Two or more service providers
      • A service provider and a group of consumers.
      • Individual consumers can approach the Consumer Fora.
    • REDRESSAL OF CONSUMER GRIEVANCES
      • The Call Centres & Inter Active Voice Response System are ineffective & lack human face ; to remedy this problem, the Authority introduced in-house institutional mechanism to make it responsive & consumer sensitive.
      • TRAI has published the Telecom Protection & Redressal of Grievances Regulations, 2007 ( 3 of 2007).
      • Every SP shall establish a Call Centre with toll free no., accessible 24/7, for redressal of grievances of its consumers, within 60 days of the Regulations coming into force.
      • For disruption / disconnection of service, complaints to be redressed within 3 days of registration of complaint ; for other complaints, a time limit of 7 days is prescribed
      • Every SP shall designate Nodal Officers in each of its licensed service area, who shall redress complaints within time limits prescribed.
    • WHERE SHOULD THE CONSUMER GO?
      • Appellate Authority to be established by the SP to hear & dispose off appeals and ensure that the status/ details of appeals are exhibited on the website
      • The Authority may refer to SPs Complaints alleging violation of Act or Regulations or Complaints which are generic.
      • Every SP shall publish a Manual of Practice for handling consumer complaints.
    • IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHTS OF TDSAT’s DECISIONS
      • TDSAT has now prescribed ad valorem Court fee to prevent the filing of frivolous complaints.
      • Re CAS : By the interactive system in set top box the consumer can get pay channels of his choice & pay separately for channels.
    • THANK YOU
      • INDU MALHOTRA
      • SR. ADVOCATE
      • OCTOBER 20, 2007
      • SRINAGAR.