Trai asks MSOs to send bill, provide online payment option

Tags: News
Broadcast regulator TRAI has directed cable operators to send bills to subscribers, while providing facilities for online payment and acknowledgment in the wake of unsatisfactory compliance of its directives on billing and receipts by service providers.

The directive is applicable in areas where digitisation has been implemented.

"During the inspection of some of the MSOs (multi-system operators), the authority noted that the compliance to the provisions of the regulations and directions related to the provisions of the bills and receipts to the subscribers is not satisfactory," said TRAI.

In its order, TRAI said it has asked the MSOs to "ensure delivery of individual subscriber bills, provide option of online bill payment and electronic acknowledgment to the subscriber for the payment in made, in areas where DAS has been implemented".

Moreover, the regulator said the MSOs must provide the online payment options to subscribers available within 45 days of issue of its order, which was dated May 27, 2014.

On the issue of acknowledgment, the order said MSOs must "ensure within 30 days of issue of this direction, that an electronic acknowledgment system is sent to the subscriber on his registered mobile number or the email address, immediately on his making any payment to the service provider."

The TRAI order also said in case of collection of bills manually from subscribers, payment details must be sent by the collector via mobile to Subscriber Management System in front of the consumer.

"The Subscriber Management System, on receipt of this information shall send an automatic acknowledgment of the payment received, to the subscriber either on his registered mobile phone number or his email address," TRAI said.

In December last year, TRAI had directed MSOs to offer both pre-paid and post-paid payment options and generate itemised monthly usage details for customers in DAS areas within 15 days of the end of the month.

Cable TV networks in India have been mandated to go digital by December 2014, which entails that TV signals may be received only through STBs.

The government has already completed the second phase of digitisation, which involved digitising 1.6 crore cable TV houses in 38 cities by April 1, 2013.

The third phase of digitisation has to be implemented in all other urban areas (municipal corporations/ municipalities) except cities or towns or areas included in Phase I and II, by September 30, 2014. The rest of the country will be covered under Phase IV of digitisation by December 31, 2014.

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