TRAI has released the “Consultation Paper on “Review of implementation of the Quality of Service
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the “Consultation Paper on “Review of implementation of the Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulations, 2006” for consultation with the stakeholders. Through the above regulations TRAI had laid down a Code of Practice for metering and billing accuracy prescribing standards for metering and billing, for compliance by access service providers, so as to minimize the incidences of billing complaints and for protecting the interest of consumers. These regulations also provided for a system of yearly audit of the metering and billing system through any one of the auditors, from the panel notified by TRAI, and the service providers are required to submit Audit Report by 30th June of every year and Action Taken Report on the inadequacies, if any, pointed out by the Auditor by 30th September. The Consultation Paper seeks to address certain issues in the implementation of the regulations and proposes the following measures for addressing these issues so as to protect the interest of consumers:
a. Financial disincentive at the rate of Rs.50,000/- per day for delay in submission of Audit Reports and Action Taken Reports by the service providers.
b. Financial disincentive not exceeding Rs.10,00,000/- per Action Taken Report for false or incomplete information in the Action Taken Report.
c. Increase in the frequency of audit of Call Data Records to twice in a year, one in each half year, as against the present audit of once.
d. Simultaneous reporting of instances of overcharging to TRAI by the auditor and monthly progress report on the action taken by service providers on such audit reports so as to ensure that wherever overcharging has been observed by the auditor all the affected customers are refunded expeditiously.
e. In case the refund to affected customers is not made within one month of the audit observations, financial disincentive equivalent to the amount of overcharged amount to be deposited with TRAI.
f. Financial disincentives of Rs.10 lakhs per Audit Report on service providers for giving incomplete audit report without adequate comments.
g. Service providers to appoint auditor based on nomination by TRAI at audit fees fixed by TRAI.