Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) having a vast network all-around Pakistan working for the establishment, operation and regulating of telecommunications in Pakistan, has recently came up with an idea of making amendments in Telecom Consumer Protection Regulation 2009. As in order to seek customer’s right protection.
PTA has also called ‘all interested’ to present their views on the amendment latest by 10th September, 2015. And these comments and views will be observed by Mr. Ali Asghar, Director General (Law & Regulations).
As previously Supreme Court have banned Inami schemes of telecos, which were a major attractive factor for the customers. As back in 2012 Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued a notice to the cellular companies, directed them to stop all SMS-based prize schemes as it was violation of the Telecom Consumer Protection Regulation, 1999.
As cellular companies interpreting the decision told that ban on Inami schemes have been implemented not on the promotional schemes. But the new regulation elucidates all above.
These amendments start defining the terms:
Incentive: “Means motivation or reward being offered by an Operator for the provision and subscription of a telecommunication service promotional scheme and includes lottery.”
Lottery: “For the purpose of these regulations means the offer or undertaking to offer any prize, reward, or other similar consideration against the payment for chance to win, used as an inducement, encouragement or telecommunication service promotional scheme for the services provided, whereby the prizes/rewards are drawn at random for the class of subscribers.”
As making addition, after clause (xii) of regulation 3 of the Telecommunication Consumer Protection regulations, 2009.
Telecommunication service for the purpose of these regulations: Means and telecom service, category of telecom service and/or package by an operator, having rates along with terms and conditions, and/ may include an incentive or reward for subscription of such telecom service.
With excluding lottery and coming up with an incentive: All operators are free to offer incentives while undertaking any commercial practices including the offer of any telecommunication service promotional schemes. The permissible incentives shall comprise of telecommunication service related benefit, including, free or additional telecommunication services, its features, and/or services offered on concessional rates and excludes lottery.
And authority (PTA) can bring any change or change the rules of commercial or Telecommunication service promotional scheme, which is stated in the earlier clause, as they found necessary.
It further states that authority should be provided information (complete charges, complete terms and conditions and rates) prior to launching the commercial or any scheme on-air.
PTA also directives cellular companies to be clear, as many companies comes up with ‘hidden charges’ or makes excuses like ‘terms and conditions’, which makes inconvenience for the customer.
Here are the some of the salient features of this direction:
- Title and Key features of the Commercial Activity or telecommunication promotional scheme;
- Nature of the offer and method of conducting the above;
- Duration which include the start and end date;
- Complete details of all other charges applicable for subscription;
- A complete list of the number and type of incentives allocated to be distributed to the qualifying consumers and the parameters/benchmarks for determining winners;
Making another amendment in regulation 8, S.R.O 300 (I) 2009 of 2009
As this amendment protects right of cellular companies to launch any commercial or Telecommunication service scheme which even leads to the ‘incentive’ as mentioned before.
The telcos are also prohibited to publicate their scheme by sending SMS to the subscribers which they haven’t asked for.
1 clause out of it also speaks about, showing the textual information about the scheme should be of a size which can even be seen by a naked eye.
You can download the complete copy of amendments implemented by PTA ← (CLICK ON IT)