Warning From TRAI: Attending Online Conference Calls From Your Mobile Can Cost You Dearly
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued an advisory urging people to exercise caution while joining online conference platforms via audio calls, following complaints of hefty bills received by consumers from across the country.
It has informed in its advisory that “few consumers” have disclosed to the authority that they received “bill shocks” while joining online conference platforms “inadvertently dialing international” numbers.
TRAI Addresses the Hefty Price Issues
Numerous complaints have been filed in TRAI regarding skyrocketing phone bills, caused due to many dial-in numbers of online audio conferences, mainly international numbers, or at times, premium ones.
Further, Trai said that the customer care numbers of certain providers are either premium numbers or international numbers which would mean that operators would charge higher rates or ISD tariffs on users.
Consequently, it has published an advisory which urges the public to practise caution and check for toll-free lines, or at least be fully aware of the charges before joining such calls.
Even though the ISD voice calls made over traditional spectrum and not data (VoIP calls), have been significantly reduced in tariff as compared to before, it is still quite expensive.
What Can be Highlighted from this Advisory?
- Customers should check the terms and conditions of the dial-in service that the online conferencing platforms are providing.
- They should cross check the charges applicable for contacting the customer care portals of such platforms.
- While some portals and apps are free of charge, some dial-in international numbers may be expensive.
Covid-19 Leads to More Online Conferencing
The TRAI advisory reads that Covid-19 has driven huge chunks of public towrads online conferencing platforms, due to continued lockdown. Thus, they must be alerted to check applicable charges for dialing such numbers or helplines of such platforms or app providers.
Since these mediums are expensive, attending conferences on such tariff may have caused a massive impact on the usual bill amounts that people generally pay.