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Read more about RCom seeks withdrawal of Trai order asking to refund users\' unspent balance on Business Standard. Trai of the view that the demand on customer refunds is fully justified as it pertains to premature closure of services by an operator
refund users' unspent balance
Reliance Communications has opposed the telecom regulator's directive asking
the company to refund unspent balance of mobile subscribers, in the wake of
discontinuation of its voice services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is, however, of the view that the
demand on customer refunds is fully justified as it pertains to premature closure
of services by an operator, and therefore, can not be equated with general
network port outs cases.
A senior Trai official told PTI that since it is the case of a service provider closing
services the "customers must get their unspent balance".
"The situation is not similar to general port out by a consumer, where the
consumer chooses the timing of porting out from one network to another
Here, a service provider has closed services and therefore protection of consumer
interest is a must," added the official who did not wish to be named.
Reliance Communications (RCom) declined to respond to an email query on the
However, sources familiar with the development said that the service provider
has shot off a letter to Trai arguing against the regulators January 19 directive on
In the letter, RCom has cited the Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009 to
highlight that the existing rules mention that the balance amount of talktime at
the time of porting "shall lapse", the source pointed out.
"We regret to say that we are unaware of the exact regulation under which a
provision exists for refund of balance amount of talk time on a mobile number
being ported out for any reason whatsoever ... we request authority to withdraw
the direction ... " the source said quoting from RComs written representation to
Meanwhile, RCom is preparing another follow up letter to Trai where it has
further argued that there is no precedence of customer refunds being sought in
several other cases of operators closing down services in the Indian telecom
On January 19, the Trai had directed Reliance Communications (RCom) and
Reliance Telecom (RTL) to refund the unused balance of their prepaid customers
and security deposits of their post-paid subscribers and report compliance in the
The direction for refund is "pursuant to closure of 2G/GSM, CDMA services and
discontinuation of voice services in all the licensed services areas by Reliance
Communications Limited (RCL) and Reliance Telecom Limited".
The move comes at a time when RCom has announced plans to sell its spectrum,
towers, optical fibre network and other wireless assets to Reliance Jio, the
telecom firm of elder brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.
The industry estimates the blockbuster deal to be valued at Rs 24,000- 25,000
Article By - Business Standard