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Benchmarks and Timelines for Quality of Service

Timelines for response to the request for cable connection
Question: - Is there any time limit in which my application for cable connection is to be responded to by the cable operator?
Answer:-An application duly signed and complete in all respects for subscribing to pay channels, or a request only for basic service tier, from any subscriber, residing in the area specified in the Registration Certificate of the cable operator should be responded to by the cable operator within five working days of receipt of application, indicating the deficiencies shortcomings, if any, in the application or request, as the case may be, expected date of activation of the connection /reactivation of connection.
Question:- Is there any time limit for activation/reactivation of the cable connection ?Answer:- In case, the cable operator finds that it is possible to provide connection, i.e, there is no technical non-feasibility, the activation/reactivation of the connection should be completed within two working days of the completion of the formalities on the part of the subscriber
Question: - Would I be excluded from the purview of the TRAI’s QOS Regulation dated 23.8.2006 if I do not opt for pay channels?
Answer:-The requirement of application form for subscribers of pay channel but not for subscribers of basic service tier, comprising of free to air channels, in CAS Areas should not be construed as exclusion of the latter category of subscribers from the applicability of the clauses providing for standards of quality of service relevant to them.
Question :- Can a subscriber’s application be rejected on the ground that the premises where the connection is to be provided falls within other cable operators area ?
Answer:-No request from a subscriber for cable service at a location which falls within the area for which a cable operator has a valid registration certificate to provide cable service shall be rejected by that cable operator, solely on the ground that the location or
the household has been demarcated for that other cable operator authorized to provide cable service in the same area.
Question :- Whether there is a system for shifting of the connection within the same area or from one area to another area ?
Answer:-Each MSO shall prescribe a procedure to be followed by the cable operators for handling requests for shifting by the subscribers within MSO’s network/area of operation. For this purpose, the MSOs/their affiliates may evolve a mutually agreed procedure and this procedure should provide for the details of steps to be followed by the cable operators, formalities to be completed by the subscriber and the maximum time limit within which the shifting should be completed. They may lay down different time limits for different situations but it will however be ensured that the procedure prescribed is such that the subscribers are able to get the services from the new cable operator within a maximum of five working days from the date of request for shifting.


Benchmarks for Complaint Handling


Question :- Whether there is a provision for complaint handling ?
Answer:-All complaints received by a cable operator/ MSO in a CAS area should be registered and a serial number of the complaint given to the complainant. The complaints should be taken up for redressal preferably in chronological order of registration.
Question :- What is the arrangement for lodging complaints as per the QOS regulations ?
Answer:-Each cable operator/MSO must maintain a customer service center or help desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A facility for automatic recording of complaints or some other mechanism for registering of complaints will be in place. It may be ensured
that the staff at customer service center or help desk are qualified and competent enough to handle the requirements of service.
Question :- Whether there is a time limit for attending to the complaints ?
Answer:-
The following benchmarks are to be observed in regard to the redressal of
complaints:
i) All complaints will be attended or at least responded within eight hours of
receipt of complaint, except those received during the night which will be attended to the next day and satisfaction report obtained from subscriber. Where it is not possible to attend /respond to the complaint within this time limit, the response should indicate the anticipated time for redressal of the complaint. If it is not feasible to comply with the benchmarks indicated hereafter for reasons beyond the control of the cable operator /MSO, the reasons for the same will be communicated to the subscriber, while responding to the complaint.
ii) A system of rebates in the form of discounts to the subscriber due to interruptions on account of no signal or weak signal or disruption of service, will be put in place by the cable operator or MSO, as the case may be, and the subscriber should be made aware of the same.

Question :- Whether a notice has to be given for disruption in service ?
Answer:-In case signals have to be disrupted for facilitating preventive maintenance, the subscriber should be given a clear notice of atleast 3 days, if the disruption is likely to be for one day or less and the notice period shall be 15 days if the disruption is likely to be for more than a day. The cable operators / MSOs can choose their own method of providing prior notice of possible disruption.
Question: - Whether carrying identity cards is necessary for the employees of cable operators?
Answer:-Yes, All cable operators / MSOs will ensure that their representative(s) carry proper identification along with a photograph, and are polite in their behavior with the subscribers.
Benchmarks for Billing Related Issues


Question :- Is there any specific billing procedure ?

Answer:-Subscribers in CAS areas will generally be billed on monthly basis and the bill should indicate the Service Tax Registration Number, Entertainment Tax Registration number of the MSO or the cable operator, as the case may be, as applicable. The entries in the bills must be itemized to separately indicate price of individual pay channel(s) or bouquet(s) of pay channels and the names of channels in the bouquet, as applicable, charges for basic service tier and the channels comprised therein, charges for set top box, amount of each type of tax levied and the rate thereof. This, however, does not preclude a cable operator /MSO, from promoting different schemes of payment in which case the bills can be raised at such periodicity as per the scheme opted by the subscriber.

Question :- Whether there is a time limit for making payments and penalties for delayed payments ?
Answer:-The subscribers will ensure prompt payment of all bills within 7 days from the date of receipt of the bill. Any payment done after the expiry of 7 days will attract simple interest @ 15% p.a on the amount of bill delayed. The interest for such delayed payment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis for the number of days of delay. For each
and every payment made by a subscriber, the cable operator/ MSO, as the case may be, will issue a proper receipt.
Question :- What is the procedure for raising of bills and delivery thereof?
Answer:-The following procedure will normally be followed for raising of bills, delivery of bills and collection of payments thereof:
i)In respect of subscriber opting to watch pay channels through a set top box, a single bill will be generated by the MSO, indicating the charges for pay channels as well as charges for channels forming part of the basic service tier .The subscriber should be required to make only one payment.

ii)In respect of subscribers who do not opt to watch pay channels through the set top box, the monthly bill will be raised for FTA channels and the proceeds collected by the cable operator.

The billing system should be such that the following benchmarks are met:

  1. i)  Complaints relating to billing will be addressed within 7 days of notice from the subscriber.
  2. ii)  Refunds must be issued within 30 days following the resolution of the complaint or before the next billing cycle whichever is earlier.

Question :- Whether a notice period has been prescribed prior to disconnection of service by Local Cable Operator ?
Answer:-No cable operator will disconnect a subscriber for whatever reason without giving written notice of at least 15 days, clearly indicating the specific reasons for disconnection. The period of 15 days for the purpose will be reckoned from the date of receipt of the notice for disconnection by the subscriber.
Question :- Whether there is a provision for change in positioning of channels ?
Answer:-In CAS areas, change of positioning of TV channels comprised in the basic service tier by the MSO should not normally be done. In case of pressing technical reasons requiring changes of TV channel position, the subscriber will be notified at least 3 days in advance of such occurrence. For the purpose of information to the subscribers, a scroll indicating the frequency in which a particular channel is placed will be run at periodic intervals. In no circumstances, unless it is beyond the control of the MSO, a channel positioned in a particular frequency shall be taken off the air without giving prior notice of at least three weeks along with the reasons for taking it off the air. This notice must be given to all subscribers through an advertisement in two local newspapers or by running a scroll in the relevant channel(s).


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