TRAI Directs Independent TV To Comply With Norms Following Consumer Plaints

Broadcast regulator TRAI has directed Independent TV (formerly Big TV) to comply with provisions of the new regulatory framework for the sector, following numerous consumer complaints on abrupt discontinuation of services without refund.

“The Authority is in receipt of numerous consumer complaints, wherein the subscribers have complained that Independent TV has discontinued channels opted for by the subscribers,” Trai said.

It further noted that in such cases the operator is neither providing services to the consumers despite collecting the money in advance nor any refund has been made to them.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the regulator for both telecom as well as broadcast and cable sectors.

The regulator has asked Independent TV to provide details – spanning last six months till June 30, 2019 – on number of connection requests pending beyond seven days after receipt of payments or subscription from the consumers, and complaints on pending refunds.

“In how many cases the refund has been provided to the consumer due to non-provision of services despite collecting the money in advance. Give the number of cases along with the amount refunded,” Trai has asked.

The regulator has also sought information from the company on whether any channel has been removed from its platform without prior intimation to the consumers, and if services have been resumed after the blackout issue.

Another query pertains to whether any rebate has been provided to the affected subscribers during the blackout period, and details of the same.

Trai has asked the company to submit its response on these issues in five days.

This is not the first time that the regulator has rapped the operator. Earlier this year, after Trai flagged various complaints from consumers, Independent TV informed that it has been addressing grievances of the consumers in timely manner and refunding the advances to those who have been requesting such refund. ―Outlook India

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