Indian telcos have been urged by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to revise their prepaid recharge plan validity periods, and switch from the presently existing 28-day recharge periods to a 30-day period for any plan denoted as monthly or multiples of monthly plans.
The regulatory body has stated that consumers in India have raised complaints regarding the discrepancy, and has now urged the operators to have at least one plan under various segments with 30-day validity periods.
Telcos Present Offering
A statement by the TRAI said, “Every Telecom Service Provider will offer at least one plan voucher, one special tariff voucher and one combo voucher having a validity of thirty days.” The rationale behind this move is to offer plans that will need to be renewed or recharged on the same date on most months in order to present a regularity of the recharge packs on offer.
At present, telcos in India offer 28 days as the monthly recharge period of most plans, or in multiples of 28 days. Crediting the operators, the regulatory body added that the Indian telecom companies have been forthcoming in terms of disclosing to users that the recharge periods are 28 days, instead of a misguiding ‘monthly’ terminology that could have been used in place.
“At the same time, the authority is conscious of the need to address consumer concerns and perceptions in this regard,” said TRAI. The perception in question has come from reported consumer complaints, which have reportedly raised the fact that operators end up drawing an additional month’s recharge from prepaid users in one full year, which in turn prevents users from making a more informed tariff-related choice.
It is important to note that postpaid billing periods are of 30 days, while the 28-day discrepancy remains for prepaid plans only. In this regard, the likes of Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea are likely to introduce new plans with 30-day recharge periods in the coming days.
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