The regulator has asked service providers to ensure transparency in charging for SMS on festival days. Several operators are offering free or discounted SMS schemes, which are made either as part of regular tariff plans with or without an additional monthly payment.
In some cases these are offered as packs valid for specified period or as promotional schemes. "Some operators have reported that such free/discounted SMS under various plans shall not be available to customers on certain specified days, Trai said in a release.
Trai has issued guidelines under which any operator implementing separate tariffs on blackout days has to ensure that the days on which such SMMes are not available shall be clearly indicated in the package itself.
It has also said that SMS charges applicable on these special days shall be conveyed to subscribers and the dates corresponding to the black out day shall not be altered after the pack is subscribed by the customer. There shall be no addition to the list of black out days after the pack is subscribed by the customer, it added.