Every mobile user must have faced a situation where his prepaid balance is deducted for a Value Added Service (VAS) which he has not subscribed and thanks to tactics played by telecom operators you will not get any solution for your VAS related complaints from their call Centers. In fact I have been victim of such deductions where my mobile service provider (Aircel) keeps slashing my prepaid balance by Rs.30 every month for some useless Dial & Chat Service which I have never subscribed . Making a call to their call center is just wasting our time and energy. But now TRAI’s has finally come to rescue and its new initiative is really helpful to protect every consumers’ interests.
You can simply SMS “STOP” to 155223 to deactivate all such VAS subscriptions which you have not subscribed for. You will get an SMS listing all VAS services activated on your number and replying further will deactivate the selected VAS.
DoT has allotted ‘155223’ (toll free) as common short code for un-subscription of value added service. But it seems all Mobile Services providers have not implemented it. We have tested this with MTNL SIM in Mumbai and we are not getting any return response for SMS sent to 155223. Moreover calling 155223 bounce back a reply that “THIS FACILITY IS NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUR TELEPHONE”. So here, the regulator – TRAI has to really ensure the implementation of his VAS guidelines by operators.
TRAI’s recent guidelines on VAS activation & charging are as below.
- VAS can be charged to the customer only after getting verifiable confirmation from the consumer within 24 hours of activation of VAS through consumer originated SMS, e-mail, fax or letter. If no confirmation is received, within 24 hours, the VAS has to be deactivated without any cost to the consumer.
- Confirmation through SMS to be obtained for renewal of subscription where there is insufficient balance in the account of the customer.
- If there is insufficient balance in the account of prepaid subscriber, VAS cannot be automatically renewed and money deducted on subsequent recharge without explicit consent.
- The service provider has to inform subscriber at least 3 days before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service, the due date for renewal, the charges for renewal and the toll free telephone number for unsubscribing of such value added service.
(Ref : Chapter 7, TRAI Handbook 2012)
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