Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has made minor changes to the provisions of “Telecommunication Consumer Protection Regulations, 2009”.
According to the new changes, all the telecom operators now require providing the information to the PTA about new commercial and promotional schemes, before actually launching them.
The telecom operators are also required to work in a way advised by the PTA from time to time.
All commercial activities, contrary to law, cannot be launched by operators and operator is required to give at least ten working days prior notice to PTA before the launch of any promotional scheme.
As per changes in the rules and regulations, telcos can offer permissible incentives while undertaking any commercial practices. The permissible incentives shall comprise of telecom service-related benefit, including, free or additional telecom services, its features, and/or services offered on concessional rates excluding lottery.
PTA may alter, restrict, suspend or impose of any commercial activity or telecommunication service promotional schemes if deemed necessary and the operator will be responsible for providing title and key features of such activities to PTA.
The operator will be responsible for providing an undertaking that the commercial practice and telecom promotional schemes are in compliance with the Act, Rules, Regulations and all other laws of Pakistan.
The operator will be responsible for providing a complete list to PTA of the number, type of the incentives allocated to be distributed to the qualifying consumers, parameters/benchmarks for determining winners and details of the mechanism, place, and date for selection of qualifying consumers.
Furthermore, under the new regulation, an undertaking regarding the inclusion of key features of the offered telecom promotional schemes in print media which shall be published in at least one national and local-language newspaper each as well as on the licensee’s, website in a clear, transparent and nondiscriminatory manner.
It may be added that amended version of “Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations (2009)” is aimed to further safeguard the consumer rights and interests. After the amendments to the regulation, it is expected that now telecom consumers can approach telecom operators for protection from unwanted and fraudulent communication and operators are required to facilitate these consumers under these regulations.