Technology

Consumer redressal cells have to act within 8 hours for DAS services: Trai

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said that every multi-system operator (MSO) or his linked local cable operator will establish a complaint centre in his service area before providing the digital addressable cable TV services and will have to resolve complaints within eight hours.


Every complaint centre will be accessible to the consumers from 8 am in the morning to midnight on all days of the week. Every MSO or his linked local cable operator (LCO) will deploy sufficient number of employees at his complaint centre to meet the Quality of Service (QoS) parameters, as may be specified by the Authority from time to time.


The complaint centre will have facilities for the local language of the area in addition to Hindi and English.


This has been stated in Consumers Complaint Redressal (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations and Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations issued on the last day of the tenure of Trai chairman J S Sarma.
 
The MSO or linked LCO will have to ensure the complaints centre is accessible and has a toll-free number. Trai has also detailed how an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) should function, and how consumers should be made aware of the existence of the centre.


In cases where the QoS has not specified details of the time by when a redressal has to be addressed, the complaints will be addressed within a time period not exceeding three days.


Every MSO or linked LCO will appoint or designate one or more nodal officers in every State in which it is providing its service and give wide publicity to this.


A consumer can approach the nodal officer only if not satisfied with the redressal of his complaint by the complaint centre.


Trai may forward the complaint to the concerned MSO for the purpose of redressal of complaints alleging violation of the Act or regulations made or directions issued or orders made by it under the Act; complaints of the consumers which are generic in nature; complaints alleging that the practices adopted by the MSO adversely affects the interest of the consumers; and a complaint that Trai feels is required to be resolved expeditiously by the MSO.


Every MSO/linked LCO will maintain records of all complaints filed by the consumer with them and such records shall include docket number, name and address of complainant, date and time of filing complaint, type of complaint and redressal date and time and the written confirmation from the consumer that the complaint has been redressed.


The MSO will directly or through the linked LCO issue within 60 days of the coming into force of these Regulations publish a ‘Consumer’s Charter for addressable cable TV systems’ containing information about itself, the QoS parameters, the services offered and other terms and conditions about the services offered.


The QoS Regulations say every MSO or linked LCO offering digital addressable cable TV services, will devise formats of application for seeking connection, disconnection, reconnection and for obtaining and returning of set-top box as specified in the regulations.
 
Adoption of a common format as specified in Schedule I of the regulations by an MSO/LCO will be construed as compliance of the requirement.
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Any person seeking connection or disconnection or reconnection or shifting of cable service connection or intending to obtain or return set top box at a place located within the area of operation of MSO/LCO may submit an application in the format referred to in sub-regulation (1), in duplicate, duly signed and complete in all respect, to the MSO/LCO who will return the duplicate copy of the application to the applicant as an acknowledgment of receipt of application after giving a unique identification number.


Cable services will be provided by the MSO/LCO to every person making request for the same, subject to technical and operational feasibility.


In case it is technically or operationally non-feasible to provide connection, reconnection, shifting of service or supply of set top box at the location where the services are requested by the applicant, the MSO/LCO will inform the applicant within two days of receipt of the application, indicating the reasons.


No MSO/LCO will disconnect the cable services to the subscriber without giving prior notice of at least 15 days to such subscriber indicating the reasons for such disconnection. The period of 15 days shall be reckoned from the date of receipt of the notice of disconnection by the subscriber. If the services to a subscriber have been discontinued on his request, no charge other than the charges for STB, if any, will be payable by such subscriber. But if they have been discontinued by the MSO/LCO, no charges for the period for which the services were discontinued including the charges of STB shall be payable by the subscriber.


Every MSO/LCO will publish a Manual of Practice which will have full details of services being offered.


An MSO/LCO will not change the composition of subscription package subscribed by the consumer during the period of six months from the date of enrolment of the subscriber to such subscription package, if the subscriber is not in default of payment of monthly subscription charges; and during the entire period of validity of the subscription package if the subscription amount in respect of such subscription package has been paid in advance by the subscriber or, if the amount is payable in installment, the subscriber has paid the installments on due date; if such channel continues to be available on the cable network of the MSO. If any channel, which is a part of a package subscribed by a subscriber, becomes unavailable on the network of the MSO, the fee will be reduced accordingly unless an alternate channel is offered and accepted..


Every MSO will offer cable TV services on both pre-paid and post-paid payment options to the subscriber and will be responsible for generation of bills for the subscribers. It will be open to the subscriber to choose either the pre-paid or post-paid option.


Every MSO/LCO will give to every subscriber the bill for charges due and payable by such subscriber for each month or for such other period as agreed between the parties, for which such charges become payable by the subscriber. In case of post-paid bills, the subscriber will be billed, generally on monthly basis and the bill shall contain the Service Tax Registration Number and the Entertainment Tax Registration number of the MSO. The entries in the bills will be itemised to indicate the price of individual channels or bouquet of channels along with the names of channels in the bouquet, charges for basic service tier and the channels comprised therein, charges for STB, taxes along with the rates of taxes levied and the charges for value added services availed by the subscriber, if any.
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Every MSO/LCO will provide to the subscriber the STBconforming to the Indian Standard, if any, set by the Bureau of Indian Standards. An STB not conforming to Indian Standard provided to the customer by a MSO or its linked local cable operator before the commencement of these regulations will be replaced without an extra charge within seven days of commencement of these regulations.


A minimum warranty of one year will be provided on the STB which has been acquired by a subscriber on outright purchase basis from such MSO/LCO. Such subscribers will not be required to pay any charge towards repair and maintenance of the STB during the period of warranty including visiting charges of the person deputed by the MSO or linked local cable operator for maintenance.


Every subscriber shall be free to buy a STB of approved quality from the open market, if available, which is technically compatible with the system of the MSO. The MSO/LCO will not force any subscriber to buy or take on rent or on hire purchase the STB from him alone.


Any security deposit deposited by the subscriber for acquiring the STB will be refunded to him within seven days of return.


Every broadcaster will maintain technical standards of the signals as laid down by Digital Video Broadcasting for DVB-S or DVB-S2 standards.


The Authority may from time to time, intervene for the purpose of protecting the interest of the subscribers or monitoring the performance of quality of service standards of the MSO or its linked local cable operator or for ensuring compliance of the provisions of the regulations.

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