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TRAI seeks explanation from global SIM card cos over poor service quality

International SIM card and global calling card companies have caught the attention of telecom regulator TRAI over instances of unsatisfactory service quality provided to consumers when they are travelling abroad.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), last week, called a meeting of 8-9 players and asked them to explain the reason for the poor service, which causes huge inconvenience to customers when they are abroad.

A few operators who were part of the TRAI meeting included Matrix, Uniconnect and Oneworld Teleservices.

The move came only months after an SMS-based survey initiated by the regulator revealed that nearly half the consumers who used the services felt that it worked partially or did not work at all.

“The SMS-based survey asked consumers whether their international SIM cards worked when they were abroad. Close to 50 per cent of the people responded saying it worked. Of the rest, nearly 30 per cent said it did not work at all and 20 per cent said it worked partially,” a TRAI source said.

Given the high proportion of respondents claiming that their cards did not work, TRAI reached out to the SIM card companies to seek an explanation.

“We asked them what are the reasons, how can the situation be improved. What are the issues…Is it to do with the SIM cards, or connectivity problem at the level of local country specific operator, or is it that people did not follow proper procedure for dialling,” the source said.

The companies have been asked to check their records, analyse the issue and revert with their responses over the next few days.

The official said that the issue could prompt the regulator to recommend tightening of service quality measures around international SIM card and global calling cards sold in India.

“The options may include mandating a toll-free number or a 24-hour call centre number where consumers can call for help. TRAI could also mull recommending refund of money, depending on the situation,” the source added.

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