TRAI’s proposal to compensate consumers for call drops has received strong reactions on both sides of the case, with telecom operators rejecting the proposal outright and users demanding it be enforced. The authority had put up the proposition online earlier in September and is now seeking counter-comments on it by September 28.
The consultation paper formulated by TRAI suggested ways network providers could potentially pay consumers for call drops, like crediting the talk time lost back to their account or through monetary means. The document has so far received hundreds of comments from people affirming such action should be taken when the issue arises.
Some even feel like they should get double the cost for each dropped call. Many have complained about the lack of mobile towers around villages and want reimbursements for failure in data connectivity as well. According to one individual, the problem is tantamount to harassment as people are forced to pay even without talking.
Telecom companies and industry bodies are heavily opposed to any form of customer compensation for call drops. Ashok Sud, secretary general of the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), asserted that consumers should be charged for the duration of a session, even if the call fails within 5 seconds or later.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents GSM players like Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Uninor, chimed in with a similar point of view. It further said reimbursing users will not lead to a solution for the call drop menace, as underlying problems such as the lack of spectrum and cell tower sites still exist in India.