Thre is a huge upsurge of video calls in the last two months. It will be not wrong to say that Video conferencing and virtual interactions using digital means are new normal. But it has also created a huge concern for data security aspects. Considering digital security and users behaviour, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued advisory for the public to exercise due care while joining online conference platforms through audio calls after few consumers experienced bill shocks when they joined online conferencing platforms inadvertently dialling international numbers.
Considering that a large number of public have been using online conferencing platforms due to continued lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, here’s what TRAI guidelines say:
- It is necessary to alert them to check applicable charges for dialling such numbers/helplines of such platforms/App providers.
- Incidences have also come to the knowledge where the customer care centre of some of such service providers is either premium numbers or international numbers. Obviously, the members of the public who use such services inadvertently may have to pay higher rates applicable to premium numbers or international numbers which would imply the application of ISD tariffs.
- The members of the public are advised to carefully check the terms and conditions before using dial-in service provided by online conferencing platforms and cost applicable for containing the customer care centre of such platform in terms of tariff for voice calls and other charges as may be applied by the service providers.
- Any inadvertent lapse in this regard may result in significant bills causing bill shocks.
- All the members of the public are advised to exercise full caution and make themselves aware of the details of terms and conditions of using the online conferencing services particularly nature of numbers to which voice calls have to be made for joining the online or contacting support and details of tariff applicable for each of such services.