TRAI Issues Advisory On Online Conference Platforms After Consumers Experience "Bill Shocks"

The telecom authority attributed the development to peak in usage of online conferencing platforms, which are either premium numbers or international numbers and thus imply application of ISD tariffs.

TRAI Issues Advisory On Online Conference Platforms After Consumers Experience 'Bill Shocks'

Public should check the terms and conditions before using online conferencing platforms, it said.

New Delhi:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday issued an advisory to the public to exercise due care while joining online conference platforms through audio calls after few consumers experienced "bill shocks" when they joined online conferencing platforms, inadvertently dialling international numbers.

"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 dialing such numbers/ helplines of such platform/ App providers. 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," it said.

"Obviously, the members of public who use such services inadvertently may have to pay higher rates applicable to premium numbers or international numbers which would imply application of ISD tariffs," it said.

Public should check the terms and conditions before using dial-in service provided by online conferencing platforms and cost applicable for contacting the customer care center of such platform in terms of tariff for voice calls and other charges as may be applied by the service providers, the advisory said.

"Any inadvertent lapse in this regard may result in significant bills causing bill shocks. Thus, all the members of public are advised to exercise full caution and make themselves aware of the details of terms and conditions of using the online conferencing services particularly nature of numbers to which voice calls have to be made for joining the online conference and/or contacting customer support and details of tariff applicable for each of such services,"it added.