TRAI announced not to stop printed phone bills for Landline and postpaid mobile users.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said “time is still not ripe for making an e-bill a default option, given the demographic structure of India, its literacy rate, the size of its non-e-literate population, the limitation of senior citizens and disadvantaged groups and the country’s rural population”.
The regulator said it “would be unfair” to thrust an e-bill as a default option on unwilling subscribers, especially those without internet access or incapable of making an informed choice between a printed and an electronic bill.
They will continue to receive printed hard copies of phone bills for free with the telecom regulator saying an electronic or `e-bill’ cannot be a default option as it would be an anti-consumer move.
But the sector regulator said telcos can switch to an e-bill only after obtaining “an explicit consent” from the consumer. “If a customer opts for receipt of the bill through e-mail instead of a hard copy, the service provider can supply the same after obtaining explicit consent,” Trai said in a media statement Monday.