The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has instructed Idea Cellular to deposit Rs 2.97 crore for overcharging its subscribers to making calls to BSNL and MTNL networks.
TRAI also received complaints from subscribers regarding the differential higher tariffs being levied by private GSM operators for calls from one service area to another service area within the same State terminating in BSNL MTNL network.
"the Authority hereby directs Idea to deposit the amount of Rs. 2,97,90,173, charged in excess from its subscribers during the period from May 2005 to January 2007, as computed by M/s Idea, in TCEPF and report compliance within 15 days of issue of this direction," said the order dated August 24, 2017, signed by Trais adviser ST Abbas."
Trai, in February 2006, directed mobile service providers asked mobile service providers to differ the rates being levied by them on subscribers. The regulator even asked operators to refund excess amount which they charged to the customers.
"The direction was challenged by the Cellular Operators Association of India and other telecom operators while they continued charging higher rates to consumers," says the PTI report.
Telecom tribunal TDSAT dismissed COAI's appeal following which the industry body moved the Supreme Court. The apex court dismissed the appeal in January 2015, the report further added.
Idea Cellular, however, denied the request to of transferring the amount to its customers because the call data records of that particular period are not available. This resulted in Trai asking the operator to deposit the amount in Telecom Consumers Education and Protection Fund (TCEPF).