Coercive, grossly unjust, and its unintended impact will be catastrophic” – that’s the stand of Indian telecom operators on the recent Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulation to compensate customers by one rupee for each call drop. Telecom operators have asked TRAI to withdraw the regulation as it would hurt over a third of its revenue, forcing them to raise mobile tariffs to compensate this.

According to a joint letter written by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), representing the GSM operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular & Reliance, and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), representing the CDMA operators – “We are taken aback and shocked by the authority’s Regulation for compensation, which, we respectfully submit, is grossly unjust and will eventually negatively impact the interests of the consumers and the service providers.

TRAI’s assumption that call drops occur due to a deficiency of service is flawed and zero call drops are scientifically impossible. Globally, a 2% call drop rate is accepted; even if a 1% call drop rate is accepted in India, telcos will be required to pay out at least Rs 1,083 crore a year. There can be no legitimate basis for a consumer not to exercise his or her choice of operator in a competitive market and then expect compensation from a fully compliant service provider,”

Earlier this month TRAI issued an amendment, forcing the telecom operator to credit its customers by one rupee for each call drop. However, the compensation is limited to maximum three call drops a day. So basically you will get a maximum of Rs 3 per day from telecom operator if you encounter three or more call drops a day.

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