There is good news for consumers of mobile telephone services. The Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) is planning to adjudicate disputes through videoconferencing by the end of this financial year. TDSAT is based in New Delhi.
The consumers would be able to file complaint against operators and the disputes would be settled through videoconferencing.
A recent Hindustan Times-C Fore survey of users across India reveals that more than three out of five users face call drops one or two times out of 10. As many as 45 per cent say they face billing-related problems “often” or “sometimes”. And only two out of five users are satisfied with the customer care response.
As per section 14 (a) (iii) of the TRAI Act, TDSAT has jurisdiction to adjudicate any dispute between a service provider and a group of consumers. Therefore, a group of consumers can approach TDSAT and seek adjudication.
An individual consumer can not approach TDSAT. However, three consumers can form a group and file a complaint in TDSAT against an operator.
TDSAT is also planning to provide legal aid to the group of consumers who are in need of it. TDSAT is mainly involved in settling disputes between two operators or between operators and DoT/TRAI.
Presently, consumer interests are protected by the TRAI Act. It empowers Authority to set quality of service standards and impose them on operators.