In a meet, between consumer groups and the Communications Minister Kapil Sibal discussed various measures like ensuring refund of the security money by telecom operators to consumers, empowerment of the telecom regulator and resolution of grievances within 24 hours.
Speaking about the security deposit issue, Ajoy Eric Lal, who represented consumer advocacy group Consumer Voice, said the telecom operators sit on huge amounts of money when they do not refund the security deposits made by the consumers. According to reports, operators charge Rs.250 to Rs.500 for general security deposits while Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,000 for ISD security deposits.
Stressing the need for empowerment of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the consumer groups said that strict actions need to be taken if an operator fails to abide by the regulations of the telecom regulator.
"The groups discussed many issues ranging from security deposit to radiation and many such things. The consumer satisfaction is the ultimate for any sector or industry to prosper," Sibal told reporters at the first-ever round table conference with Telecom Consumer User Groups. "Most important thing is how can the complaint procedure be made more effective. Lots of people cannot register a complaint, they do not have means to do so, if they do register a complaint there is no effective action. All those mechanisms have to be dealt with," he added.
He called upon the participating service providers to ensure that the consumers get the fair treatment, value for their money and speedy and effective settlement of their legitimate grievances. The minister also stressed that the government agencies should ensure that the laws and systems continue to protect the interests of the consumers and should also see that the existing laws are implemented.