On 23 April, telecom regulator TRAI directed beleaguered operator Aircel to refund the unspent balance and security deposit of its prepaid and postpaid subscribers, following consumer complaints in this matter.
In a directive, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that it had received a large number of complaints from subscribers of Aircel Group seeking a refund of balance amount in prepaid accounts and non-refund of security deposits in case of postpaid accounts.
The regulator ‘in order to protect the interest of telecom subscribers’ has directed Aircel to process the refund of security deposits of postpaid subscribers and submit an area-wise compliance report by 10 May. This report, it said, should mention the number of subscribers whose security deposit have been successfully refunded as well as details of unclaimed and undelivered amounts.
Aircel has also been instructed to prepare a list of all prepaid subscribers ported out between 1 December 2017 and 10 March 2018 with details of the unspent balance against each account and the status of the transfer of the amount.
It has also asked Aircel to process the refund to the prepaid mobile subscribers who have not been able to port out by 10 March 2018. In February 2017, Aircel had announced that it has filed for bankruptcy and cited ‘intense competition’ in the sector as the reason for the move. Aircel had also asked its subscribers to port to other operators.
TRAI asked recipient operators of these ported subscribers to credit the refund amount received from Aircel to individual subscriber accounts and inform the users about the same through SMS.