Monday, February 6th, 2023

There will be no change in the validity of prepaid tariff plans! Jio-Vi-Airtel took this step

New Delhi. Reliance Jio, Bharti airtel And Vodafone Idea Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) not to interfere in the matter of fixing the prepaid tariff validity period. According to a latest report, network provider companies have told TRAI that it is not right to interfere in matters related to prepaid tariff validity and the issue should be kept under tolerance. During this, it said that any such interference would be unwarranted, which would hamper the mobile tariff structures and could cause harm to the users.

Telecom giant Jio suggested that TRAI may issue an advisory asking telcos to offer at least one prepaid plan voucher (PV), special tariff voucher (STV) and combo voucher (CV). Which has a validity of 30 days on customer complaints, while currently there are plans with a validity of 28 days.

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In the discussion paper released last month, TRAI had said that mobile users are full of complaints, they feel cheated. They have to recharge 13 times in a year according to the plan of the month. In this context, Jio told the regulatory that the company has launched prepaid tariffs with validity of 30 days, 60 days and 90 days, which is the resolution of user complaints by TRAI.

Consumer Voice, a leading mobile consumer association suggested that TRAI ‘standardize all tariff validity periods in the variants of ‘1 day, 7 days, 15 days or 1 month’ and invalidate all other validity periods in the market. It further said that ‘validity of one month should mean renewal in the next month on the same date’.

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The network provider companies rejected the suggestion and said that it is not technically possible to offer prepaid plans with recharge on the same date every month. Such a move may also go against the user’s point of view, as many prepaid users usually recharge after two to three days of the expiry date to avail the grace period.

Airtel told the regulator that ‘the tolerance on determining the validity of the tariff should continue as in the present policy. Changes in tariff structure such as validity would compel the service provider. Other essentials of the tariff, the price etc. will also have to be changed which will also bother the users.

Jio also supported this saying that the operators will not have to take the risk of reducing the ARPU which is not easy. If there is a change in the current recharge validity, then it will be a big mistake in the way of business, because in doing so they will have to apply the new prices. In such a situation, users can get confused in recharging of their choice and they will also have to make changes in telecom expenses.

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Vodafone Idea said that any change in the existing 28-day, 56-day and 84-day prepaid tariff validity structure will be on a large scale. For this, a lot of effort will be required in creating user awareness, configuration in billing system, changes in company’s and third party channel publications and retail channel education.

Last month, TRAI had sought public opinion on whether to interfere in fixing the prepaid tariff validity period or to put the matter under forbearance regime. It was also asked whether telecom companies should offer PV, STV and CV for a special period. Vodafone Idea urged TRAI to look into tariff related issues carefully. After the AGR payment crisis, network provider companies had asked TRAI to fix a minimum price for data service only for the interim period to improve the situation and maintain competition.


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