India’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued new directions on the activation and de-activation of value added services (VAS), requiring operators to double-check consent from customers before providing VAS through any format. The first request for consent is through the provider’s platform, whilst a second confirmation must go through a dedicated consent gateway owned by a third party.
In its statement, the TRAI said: ‘Activation of VAS by service providers has been the cause of many customer complaints and is a major concern for TRAI as well. The authority has been addressing … consumer issues which have come to its notice through consumer complaints, relating to activation of value added service through different modes without the explicit consent of the consumer … While issuing these directions, the Authority has also considered the interests of the service providers and growth of value added service industry.’
Other obligations included in the new measures were: to inform subscribers 24 hours before an automatic renewal of VAS; to refund customers for wrong activations within 24 hours; to immediately provide subscribers with certain details of the VAS such as a number for deactivation, validity and renewal charges and; to provide monthly reports on activations, deactivations and complaints to the TRAI.