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TRAI asks telcos to continue with printed copies of phone bills

March 26, 2019
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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked telecom operators to continue with the existing regulatory provision of providing printed copies of phone bills to subscribers. As per the regulatory provision, printed copy of bills shall be made available to landline and mobile postpaid subscribers free of cost, as a default option, and e-bills can be provided with subscribers’ explicit consent.

However, if any customer opts for receipt of the bill through e-mail instead of hard copy, the service providers can do so after obtaining explicit consent from the consumers. In this regard, the TRAI will continue to watch the progress of the subscribers opting for e-bill and if necessary, this provision would be reviewed a year later.

Earlier, on November 15, 2018, the TRAI had released a consultation paper on “Review of extant provision for sending the printed bills to postpaid subscribers of landline and mobile services as default option”. During the consultation, telecom service providers strongly pleaded for changing the default option to electronic bill citing environmental concerns. On the other hand, other stakeholders wanted to continue with the present provision for the default option of printed bills because of various reasons including lack of e-literacy among 50 per cent of the population and the necessity for consumer's choice to opt for e-bill.

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