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TRAI cautions of bill shocks from online audio calls, issues advisory

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has cautioned customers of high charges while joining online conference platforms through audio calls, and issued an advisory asking the public to exercise due care.

“It has been brought to the notice of TRAI that few consumers have experienced bill shocks when they joined online conferencing platforms inadvertently dialling international telephone numbers,” the regulator’s advisory dated May 11, said.

“Considering that a large number of members of public have been using online conferencing platforms due to continued lockdown to check spread of Covid-19, it is necessary to alert them to check applicable charges for dialling such numbers and helplines of such platform and app providers,” it added.

Incidences have also come to the knowledge where the customer care centres of some of such service providers are either premium numbers or international numbers. Thus, while using such services customers may have to pay higher rates applicable to premium numbers or international numbers which would imply application of ISD tariffs.

TRAI also cautioned to carefully check the terms and conditions before using dial-in service provided by online conferencing platforms and cost applicable for contacting the customer care centre of such platform in terms of tariff for voice calls and other charges as may be applied by the service providers.

―The Hindu Business Line

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