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Telecom Watchdog accuses Airtel, Vodafone Idea of indulging in anti-consumer activities
Telecom operators such as Airtel and Vodafone have recently introduced minimum monthly recharge plans starting from Rs 35 to increase their revenue.
Non-profit group Telecom Watchdog has written a letter to Trai in which it charged Airtel and Vodafone indulging in "anti-consumer activities".
It said, "We wish to bring to your kind notice an alarming situation under which two telecom operators - Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea - have once again resorted to anti-consumer activities. In total disregard to the regulatory principles, they have now unilaterally decided to terminate the services of subscribers within 15 days of the expiry of the validity period of the "special tariff plan".
"Forcing the user to pay a minimum amount every month is nothing but demanding a "monthly rent," which is not the practice for pre-paid users. That means changing the scheme midway to a user's disadvantage. This is not permitted as per the existing
regulations reproduced below, which gives them protection for at least six months," it said further.
These operators have also started changing the tariff retrospectively, Telecom Watchdog added further.
Meanwhile, PTI reported that both Airtel and Vodafone Idea denied these allegations.
"All tariff plans of Bharti Airtel are in compliance with the applicable regulations. The matter raised by the TRAI, relating to the communication of the tariff plans to the consumers, has already been addressed," an Airtel spokesperson said PTI in an email response.
The spokesperson added the company did not wish to respond to "frivolous allegations".
A Vodafone Idea spokesperson, too, categorically denied what it termed were leveling of "baseless allegations".
For those who are not aware, telecom operators such as Airtel and Vodafone have recently introduced minimum monthly recharge plans starting from Rs 35 to increase their revenue.