‘A financial disincentive clause will help consumers get redress’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘A financial disincentive clause will help consumers get redress’

Nripendra Misra, a pro-consumer TRAI chairman, spoke to Manoj Gairola on various consumer related issues, following the Hindustan Times-CFore survey. Excerpts:

india Updated: Jan 19, 2009 21:12 IST

Nripendra Misra, a pro-consumer TRAI chairman, spoke to Manoj Gairola on various consumer related issues, following the Hindustan Times-CFore survey. Excerpts:

Why are call drops occurring so frequently?

Call drops can be due to many reasons including congestion at points of interconnection or due to availability of spectrum. However, these can be contributing factors but not key factors. The key factor is the radio strength in the design of network. In a majority of cases it is design and maintenance issue by service providers which is responsible for frequent call drops.

What is TRAI doing to resolve the issue?

We are pursuing this matter with operators. They are also very conscious of this issue. If they do not improve the quality, we may have to go deep into regulatory alternatives.

What are these alternatives?

At this stage we have not identified them, so this is a premature time to say what action we will take.

Can we say that the call drops problem has arisen as operators do not want to invest in network?

This is not backed by data. It is clear that different companies have made different levels of investments in towers and radio.

Have you set any deadline for operators?

These are dynamic issues. They are watched and debated. We have well equipped quality of service division which looks into these matters.

Can TRAI impose penalty on an operator that does not provide good services?

TRAI has no power to impose a penalty. However, it is not an issue of imposing penalty. In a sector where there is mass usage and high investment, sensitising operators is important. On our part, we do perception audit, spot checking of billing and metering system and benchmarking to tackle this problem. In many cases a large number of customers have been compensated on meter and billing complaints. In recent months such interventions have led to refunds of Rs 14 crore.

A large number of subscribers are not satisfied with customer care…

We have a proper system of redressal. People have started using it. We are planning to educate nodal officers of companies to help consumers. We are planning to introduce a financial disincentive clause of non-compliance of consumer redressal of grievances on operators.