Even as India inches closer to 1 billion telecom subscribers, regulatory body Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) still does not have a robust system to address consumer grievances, which are growing by the day.
Trai’s website that has a separate web-link for telecom consumer complaints monitoring system (TCCMS) to address consumer grievances, directs a consumer to submit complaints to the same operator against whom he/she has a problem.
“This is an anomalous provision that asks a consumer to approach the same company against which there is a complaint,” a senior government official said.
However, according to TCCMS guidelines, if a consumer is not satisfied, he/she can approach the appellate authority. The guidelines also have provisions for an advisory committee to render advise on appeals filed before the authority.
“Advisory committee shall comprise of two members, one member being representative of consumer organisation registered with Trai and second being member from the (telecom) service provider,” the TCCMS guideline says.
“The very presence of senior executives of a telecom service provider makes the whole process extremely biased,” the government official said. Only in rare cases an arbitrator from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is appointed.