Indian regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has fined several of the country’s largest operators for falling short of their service quality commitments, with Reliance Jio receiving the steepest penalty.
The disruptive player was fined INR3.4 million ($46,933) for failing to meet stipulated service quality benchmarks for the first three months of 2018, according to The Times of India. TRAI introduced these metrics in October 2017.
Former market leader Bharti Airtel received a notably lower INR1.1 million penalty, while former second and third placed operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – who have now merged to lead the market as Vodafone Idea – were respectively fined INR400,000 and INR1.25 million.
TRAI slammed Jio for inadequate customer support, noting that customer calls were being answered too slowly and claiming that not enough staff were made available to resolve issues. The operator’s network also suffered from congestion at interconnection points.
Airtel also came under fire for its poor management of customer enquiries, and was also criticised for dropping calls and taking too long to shut down accounts following customer requests. Vodafone was also guilty of this latter charge, but its fine also took into account an overall poor response to customer calls and various prepaid billing issues. Idea’s rap sheet was broadly similar to Airtel’s.
While no statements have been issued by the operators in question, Indian media has reported that they have begun paying the fines.