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What you don’t know can hurt you

Your mobile service provider may not be giving you all the facilities that you are entitled to and have paid for. Nandini Iyer explains.

delhi Updated: Sep 15, 2007 04:16 IST
Nandini R Iyer

Your mobile service provider may not be giving you all the facilities that you are entitled to and have paid for.

Did you know that there is a way to filter calls when you are abroad so that you can save on the steep roaming charges? Did the service provider give you details of your tariff plan within a week of you subscribing to it? Also, the provider cannot charge you a penny for switching over from one plan to another.

When abroad, you can request your service provider to give callers a message telling them you are on international roaming a gentle way of reminding them that you will have to pay through your nose if their call goes through. All providers must do this free of cost, according to a recent order by telecom regulator TRAI. This is meant to screen telemarketers and other non-essential calls. Important calls, however, can sail through.

Dancer Geeta Chandran, who travels abroad frequently, says, “I’ve started switching off my phone when I’m travelling and instead use a matrix line from the country where I am. I didn’t know that there is any such service.”

Supreme Court advocate Harsh Pathak says, “I am going to sue my cell service provider. I got international roaming activated by paying Rs 3,000. I was not told that such a service exists. I’ve received many casual calls from people who would have disconnected had they known I was not in India.”

TRAI says that the service provider cannot hike the rates on any item for six months from the date you have taken a plan. If it violates any of the above you can take it up with the regulator.

While Hutch and Idea Cellular did not respond to requests for a comment, an Airtel spokesman said, “We do provide this service. Customers just have to send an sms. We periodically inform customers on whose phones international roaming services are activated.”