Strict guidelines on Value Added Services have been issued to mobile operators.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said that a comprehensive framework and guideline to be adhered to by all telecommunication operators was formalised to ensure consumer protection in terms of Value Added Services (VAS) offered by service providers.
Value Added Services has been noted as a widely consumed aspect of overall services provided by telecommunications operators to its clientele.
However, it has been noted that significant amount of customer complaints increasing over the years in terms of disputes of subscriptions as well as billing by the operators. With the above the regulator has initiated proceeding to ensure a stringent legal and regulatory framework for VAS for mandatory adherence by all telecommunications operators.
All operators should take mandatory steps to ensure that all subscribers who has opted for any VAS (including 3rd party web banner-based subscriptions) is sent a message with a consolidated list of all such VAS opted in by the subscriber for their information with an option to un-subscribe based on the validation drive to be commenced at a date prescribed by the regulator.
Based on the revalidation drive, a comprehensive report should be provided to the regulator on format prescribed of all discrepancies notified by subscribers.
TRCSL said that based on above revalidation process, a mechanism should be introduced for subscribers to record any discrepancy they may want to escalate to the operator. Based on such discrepancies notified, a dedicated team should be setup by all operators to rectify / consider complaints made by any subscriber.
Furthermore, a short code / SMS service should be introduced to ensure that a subscriber could check on all VAS subscribed at any point and an easy mechanism to unsubscribe.
This service should be implemented within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of this guideline.
It is mandatory that the VAS services that are subscribed should be easily accessible on Selfcare Apps / Customer Web Portal for viewing services that are opted for and to provide unsubscribe facilities.