Customer can send SMS/call to 1925 to activate/deactivate mobile internet service, telecom operators cannot charge users beyond the subscribed data

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally found a way to solve the n number of complaints on telecom operators’ activation and deactivation of internet services sans consent. From September 1, subscribers can send ‘START’ or ‘STOP’ to 1925 to activate or deactivate a service. The 1925 will be a toll free number and subscribers can even make calls for the purpose.

Also, the telecom operators are directed to respond to requests immediately on receiving the message from subscribers. Adding another relief is the new amendment in the directive that prevents the operators from charging for usage beyond subscribed limit without explicit consent.

Though the current provision too directs the telecom operators to take the consent from subscribers before deactivating or activating a service, many service providers refuse to follow this.

“No service provider shall activate or deactivate the data service on the Cellular Mobile Telephone connection of a consumer without his explicit consent,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.

Under the amended rule, TRAI has clarified that the consent of a customer expires after the subscribed mobile internet limit, like 500MB, 1GB etc. gets exhausted. “Authority decided that those consumers taking data packs such as STV (special tariff voucher) or Combo Voucher or add-on pack will be deemed to have given their consent for data services. Such consent will be deemed to be only for the duration of validity of data pack or on exhausting the data limit, whichever is earlier,” the regulator said.

Now, the telecom operators should also send alerts to subscribers who have not subscribed to mobile internet service, but use it as per their need, after every 10 megabyte of data consumed by them. Consumers can choose to deactivate this service. People who are on international roaming will only get alert asking them to switch off the internet service on their phones if they are not using it.