The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive for telecom operators to set additional guidelines for ‘Blackout days’ i.e. the days when service providers do not provide any free or concessional voice calls or text messages to their subscribers, usually offered by them through promotional schemes or through their respective tariff plans.
As per additional measures mandated by TRAI:
- Telcos should ensure that the call and SMS charges should not exceed the rate mentioned in the respective tariff plan under which the subscriber is currently registered. We’re not sure if this applies to plans that offer a certain number of free SMS, as telcos charge for SMSs on blackout days.
- Telcos should send out alerts to consumers prior to the start of each blackout day along with the date or the occasion for the blackout day.
- Telcos should display a list of blackout days for the current calendar year on their respective websites, before the start of each calendar year and the list should be published, service area wise, along with the tariff plans offered by the telco, every six months.
Back in Sep 2008, TRAI had mandated telcos to restrict the number of blackout days to five in every calendar year and instructed them to make no additions or changes to the list of the blackout days after the consumer opts a specific tariff plan. TRAI had also stated that telcos should make sure to clearly indicate the blackout days in the tariff plan itself and the charges applicable on these days.
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