Authority of India (TRAI) today issued a direction prescribing
additional measures with a view to enhance transparency in the matter of
charging on “blackout” days.
The term ‘blackout” days refers to the days on which the service
providers do not allow free or concessional voice calls/ SMS offered by
them under any plan/ package. Certain guidelines are already in place as
per which the number of blackout days shall not exceed five in a
calendar year and no alteration in any such date is allowed after the
package is subscribed to by the consumer.
The additional measures now being mandated include the following:
(i) The charges for calls or SMSs on ‘blackout’ days shall not exceed
the rate in the tariff plan in which the consumer is enrolled;
(ii) Consumers shall be given intimation prior to start of every
“blackout” day and the date/ occasion of the “blackout” day shall also
be intimated; and
(iii) List of blackout days applicable for the calendar year shall be
displayed on the website of service providers, before start of every
calendar year and shall be published, service area wise, along with the
tariff plans of the service provider, every six months.
The Direction has already been placed on TRAI’s website