Citizens' Issues
Deficient service penalty on operators doubled amid call drops imbroglio
The government on Thursday doubled penalties for deficient services on cellular service providers as per new regulations announced by India's telecom regulator while sources claimed guidelines on call drop would be coming soon.
 
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on its website, released new regulations termed 'The standards of cellular mobile telephone service' which says that an operator will now be fined up to Rs.1 lakh for first non-complince with benchmarks in a quarter compared to the previous penalty of Rs.50,000.
 
Cellular operators' service is benchmarked on nearly 15 parameters that come under two heads - technical and customer care services.
 
Amidst the furore of call drops which comes under the technical category, the TRAI also said that non-compliance with the benchmark of the same parameter in two or more consecutive quarters will result in a penalty up to Rs.1.5 lakh and a fine up to Rs. 2 lakh can be levied for each consecutive contravention thereof.
 
In addition, it has clarified that the amount of fine will go back to Rs.1 lakh if the operator has met the benchmark of the parameter between two defaulting quarters.
 
Regarding call drops, both Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Wednesday asked visiting Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao to address the call drop issue. Prasad said he had told Colao that "call drops need to be addressed and I want Vodafone to play a very proactive role".
 
Souces from TRAI on Thursday claimed that new regulatory guidelines addressing call drops would be released soon. They further added that only three calls per day per customer will be refunded by the operator.
 
If what the sources say is implemented, companies like Airtel, Reliance and Idea will end up paying at least Rs.2.3 crore, Rs.1.9 crore and Rs.80 lakh respectively taking into account that only 10 percent of their subscriber base face only one call drop a day.
 
Airtel, Reliance and Idea have 23.29 crore, 10.99 crore and 8.33 crore subscribers respectively.
 
The sources however did not clarify the mechanism of identifying call drops.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Railways offer confirmed seats on alternate trains
The Indian Railways on Thursday announced the launch of a scheme on pilot basis from November 1 to provide confirmed seats to wait-listed passengers on alternate trains.
 
The pilot project scheme 'Vikalpa' would be implemented for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and the Delhi-Jammu routes. It will initially be available for tickets booked online.
 
Under the scheme, wait-listed passengers of a train can opt for confirmed seats on alternate trains.
 
"Neither extra money will be charged nor refund provided for difference in fares," the ministry of railways said in a statement, adding that a passenger allotted alternate seat could travel in the alternate train on authority of the original ticket.
 
Wait-listed passengers of a train will not be allowed to board it if allotted seat on alternate train, the statement said. 
 
"If found travelling, they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly," the railways said.
 
Noting that opting for the scheme did not mean a confirmed berth will be provided to a passenger in alternate train, the ministry clarified it was subject to availability of trains and berths.
 
Once confirmed in alternate train, the ticket cancellation charges will be as per the berth or train status in the alternate train, according to the statement.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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