According to the latest regulation from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), if you have a balance of about Rs 20 in your phone (pre-paid mobile phone connection) the company cannot deactivate your mobile number.
The move will bring in more transparency and will help customers retain their numbers if they are not using it for short durations.
TRAI has released the Telecom Consumers Protection (6th amendment) Regulations, 2013 (2 of 2013). In the document for ‘deactivation of cellular mobile telephone connection due to non-usage’ has been defined. “No service provider shall deactivate the cellular mobile telephone connection of a pre-paid consumer for non-usage if an amount exceeding twenty rupees or such lesser amount, as may be specified by the service provider, is available in the account of such consumer”.
The regulation also says that in case the non-usage period is beyond 90 days, the service provider can deduct an amount from the consumer, which shall not exceed Rs 20. If a user is active anytime during these 90 days, the user will get another extension of 90 days from the service provider.“If a consumer performs an activity during the extended period of non-usage, he shall be entitled for a fresh period of non-usage of ninety days or such longer period as may be specified by the service provider” says the regulation.
The regulation also takes care of the post-paid connection holders, and says that a service provider cannot deactivate the connection for non-usage if a consumer “makes a request for safe custody of his telephone connection and makes payment of an amount not exceeding Rs 150 for every three months” to the service provider. TRAI also says that the service provider shall not charge monthly rental from the consumer during the period of safe custody.
The regulation could be downloaded from TRAI’s website of by clicking here.