TRAI pulls up four DTH ops for migrating long-term pack customers to best fit plan
MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has pulled up four direct to home (DTH) operators for migrating long-term pack subscribers to Best Fit Plan.
The regulator has issued directions to Dish TV India, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, and Independent TV asking them to comply with the regulatory framework. The regulator stated that the DTH operators are not in compliance with the regulation 17 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017.
The TRAI has directed DTH operators to desist from migrating long term plan subscribers to any new plan till the contracted period unless the subscriber opts out of it or the validity of the long-term plan expires, whichever is earlier.
The DTH operators have also been directed to reinstate subscribers to earlier long term plans with original validity date to the subscribers who have been migrated to any new plan unless the subscriber has himself opted out for.
It has also directed the four DTH operators to submit compliance to regulation 17 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 within seven days from the date of issue of this direction.
The regulator had issued letters to the four DTH operators to issue a clarification after receiving complaints from customers. TRAI had received complaints from subscribers have complained that the DTH operators have migrated/changed their long term plans.
Dish TV India in its response through its letter dated 22nd April informed that they have migrated the Long Duration customers but in case any customer calls them to provide them the old pack then they are reverting them to their old pack and Dish TV is bearing the additional content cost for such customers.
After analysing the response submitted by the four DTH operators, the authority observed that the responses are not tenable as it has already informed the DTH operators that they are bound to provide services to long term plan subscribers (including multi-TV subscribers) till the contracted period without any change unless the subscriber opts out of it or the validity of the long term plan expires, whichever is earlier.
In the case of Independent TV, the authority stated that it has received numerous consumer complaints, wherein the subscribers have complained that the DTH operator has migrated/ changed long term plans of the subscribers and has discontinued channels opted by the subscribers and that the operator is neither providing services to the consumers despite collecting the money in advance nor any refund has been made to the consumers. The DTH operator has been asked to resolve the issue.
As far as Sun Direct is concerned, the authority noted that Sun Direct TV has migrated/changed the long term plans of the subscribers and is also forcefully offering free-to-air channels with no choice to subscribers, in addition to the channels opted by them and that the subscribers are not able to re-exercise their choice.