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India’s telecom regulator asks Aircel to refund security deposits of users
TT Correspondent |  |  24 Apr 2018

India’s telecom regulator has asked Aircel to refund security deposits of all post paid subscribers and submit compliance report by May 10, besides preparing a list of pre-paid subscribers having ported out to other carriers between December and March 10, along with unspent balance.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has further asked the Chennai-based carrier to issue a public notice by April 26 on its website and some newspapers, asking consumers to send their bank account details for reclaiming their unspent balance, and then process the refunds electronically by April 30.

“Furnish compliance report of this direction to the Authority by 20 May, 2018, together with the unspent prepaid balance amount along with number of subscribers available with Aircel Group to whom refund could not be provided and reasons thereof of such failure,” Trai said in its direction to the carrier on Monday.

Trai’s order comes on the back of large number of complaints it received from Aircel subscribers, who have either ported their mobile number to other operators or who could not port their mobile number from the carrier’s network.

Complaints were also received regarding refund of balance amount left with Aircel in the form of recharges or vouchers, or plans in their prepaid mobile account and non-refund of security deposits for the post paid mobile accounts, the regulator added.

Through Monday's orders, Trai also directed all carriers to credit the refund received from Aircel to individual accounts of subscribers, and intimate them through text messages. “All access providers (must) submit compliance to the Authority within two days of receipt of such details from Aircel Group,” the regulator said.

Aircel had more than 81 million customers as per Trai data of January, which has since fallen as the company stopped operations in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles from January-end, and eventually filed for bankruptcy early March.

Trai had asked Aircel in February to keep porting codes valid till April 15, so as to ease the movement of subscribers to other carriers in circles where the company was shutting operations. Last week it ordered the carrier to keep the codes valid till further orders.

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