Broadband Internet - Placed on wrong plan

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The most common issue faced by customers in India is the dead-slow speed of the internet.  A news report suggests that the fastest speed of the internet is between 4 to 5 am and that should be the ideal time to stream shows/movies!

There are a handful of companies that claim to offer broadband services across the country. In smaller towns, there are some local providers - cable operators who double up as Internet providers- this leads to monopoly of service providers and arbitrary prices for connection.

As per Quality of Service of Broadband Service (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2014, a minimum download speed of 512 kbps has to be provided to an individual subscriber by the broadband service provider.

How to file a broadband internet complaint in India?

The grievance redressal mechanism for telecom service providers was overhauled in 2012 which introduced the latest two-step process. Approaching a nodal officer used to be the process under the 2007 Regulations which have now been repealed.

Now, a complainant has to approach their broadband service provider for redressal of their grievance through the “Two-Tier Institutionalized Grievances Redressal Mechanism” of the concerned Service Provider established by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) under Telecom Consumer Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012.

A comprehensive list of customer care numbers and appellate authority nominated by telecom companies for handling consumer Grievances is available at TRAI website.

  1. If you have a complaint against your broadband service provider, you can lodge a grievance at their established complaint center, or you may call on the consumer care number provided by the broadband business.
  2. The complaint center will then give you a docket number indicating the registration of your complaint. They shall also inform you of the time it will take to resolve your matter, usually 3 to 7 days.
  3. Your broadband service provider must have a designated appellate authority consisting of one or more persons to deal with grievances. If you are not satisfied with the redressal provided by the customer care department, or your complaint remains unaddressed or no intimation of redressal of the complaint is received within the specified period, then you can approach the Appellate Authority.
  4. An appeal can be filed against the decision of the Appellate Authority before the Advisory Committee which consists of two members- one member of a TRAI registered consumer organization and another member from the broadband service provider. The Committee will advise on all such appeals to the Appellate Authority. Individual timelines have also been set at each stage of processing the appeals.
  5. In case you are unsatisfied with the decision taken by the service provider or there’s a delay in the redressal of your issue, you are free to approach an appropriate court of law against the broadband service provider.

In case an issue is not resolved even after exhausting the procedure as prescribed above, you may approach Public Grievance Cell of Department of Telecommunications and submit a complaint with all documentary evidence(s) for non-redressal of the grievance at the concerned Service Provider level.

TRAI urges complainants to use the web portal only to lodge complaints. Also, the Department of Telecom acts only as a facilitator in the redressal process and is not vested with any powers to penalize the service provider for not redressing the grievance to the satisfaction of the complainant or for the delay in redressing the grievance. All complaints have to be resolved by the service provider only.

The timeline of Appeal against the Appellate Authority:

  1. The Appellate Authority registers the appeal, acknowledges it with a unique appeal number and forwards the appeal within 3 days to the service provider for its reply which is done within 7 days
  2. On receipt of reply from the service provider, the Authority places the reply received from the service provider before the Advisory Committee within 2 days, for its advice (within 15 days).
  3. On receipt of advice from the Advisory Committee, the Authority places the appeal before the Appellate Authority within 2 days, the reply received from the service provider and advice tendered by the Advisory Committee for a decision.
  4. The Appellate Authority shall take a decision on the appeal upon placing of the appeal by the Authority within 10 days

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