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Telcos Challenge TRAI Over VAS Guidelines, ISD Deactivation

Telecom operators are going to file a petition in the TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) opposing the TRAI's order that directed them to take explicit consent from subscribers for activating value added services (VAS) on their mobile numbers, reports The Hindu Businessline. The COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) confirmed the development to the publication, and said that it was opposed to the method prescribed by the TRAI. In July 2012, the regulatory body had directed that service providers must obtain confirmation from subscribers through SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within twenty four hours of activation of the value added service and charge the subscriber only if it is received from him for the service and discontinue the service if no confirmation is received from him, in case of the service being activated on an outbound or inbound call. It had also asked operators to inform the consumer via SMS, the the due date for renewal of value added service, the charges for renewal and toll free telephone number for unsubscribing the value added service, three days before the date of renewal. The TRAI had also instructed them to ask for subscriber's consent for renewal in case he had insufficient credit balance in his mobile account. The TRAI had said that through the directions it intended to check the activation of VAS products especially on prepaid mobile connections, without the customer’s explicit consent. It also mentioned that it had been receiving complaints from consumers about providers renewing VAS products even…

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