The Other Side Of The Story

Following our post on whether persisting consumer issues should warrant stricter norms and maybe even licensing of the VAS industry, we’ve received several responses – some as comments to the story, some via email, and some phone calls. Some of the comments which highlight a view contrarian to ours:

One VAS Industry Exec: Why should the 78% of the consumers who wanted the services be penalized for the 22% who did not. Will they now have to send a fax to subscribe to services? Telecom Operators have very powerful customer care departments and take these complaints very seriously, and VAS departments have to look into each complaint. Senior management in telecom companies are very conscious of churn, and they don’t want to risk losing 90% of the revenue which comes from voice (ED: 10% comes from VAS/non-voice, including P2P SMS). Airtel implemented double verification for many of their services last year. Let us not forget that OBDs and Press Star (*) To Copy address a key issue in the Mobie VAS industry – of search and discovery of content.

Arvind asks how consumers can “accidentally” press Star (*) for copying a ringback tone.

Ekta Rohra Jafri of Rocketalk believes that the TRAI’s move will not get rid of all the VAS services that we are subscribed to and cannot get out of – it doesn’t provide an ‘Unsubscribe’ mechanism, and will only make subscribing harder. How does that help?

Poking nose_Nakoo_” says “Lets not reinvent the wheel by putting up VAS for licensing. It ought to have an independent regulator but licensing is a different ball game altogether. Have you forgotten the pre-1991 days when licensing had almost choked the life out of Indian industry? I thought we have grown out of that.”