NTA has ordered Ncell to refund its customers the charges on service autorenewal. The ruling means the private telecom will need to pay back Rs. 1.11 billion (1 Arab, 11 crores) to the customers for their said ‘scandalous’ service practices.
Nepal Telecommunications Authority has given its verdict on Ncell’s controversial autorenewal of services that charged its customers without their consent. NTA’s ruling came after its board meeting on Shrawan 32 that decided Ncell must pay back the amount which totals One Arab, and eleven crores.
Ncell’s Service Autorenewal Timeline
The case was under investigation by NTA after complaints that Ncell was forcing auto subscription and autorenewal without customers’ consent. These said ‘fraudulent practices occurred between 2075 Ashoj 15 to 2077 Jestha 18. Apparently, Ncell auto-renewed subscriptions on Gameloft and App Gallery between the mentioned period.
NTA Asst. Spokesman Achyutananda Mishra said NTA’s board meeting incriminated the private telco, Ncell over the autorenewal/auto subscription issue. Thus, the company is now ordered to refund the amount to its customers on the concerning topic, Onlinekhabar reports.
Ncell reasoned that the services came from third parties and mobile balance from customers was used for payment. The company claimed that after 2077 Ashoj 6, it had proceeded with customers’ approval. However, this assertion didn’t convince NTA.
NTA reasoned, “Ncell had defied the terms and conditions of NTA it agreed on the license agreement. Its act of service operations and autorenewal were not consistent with NTA. As a result, the authority has taken action against it.”
Ncell will need to return its service charges to the customers within 3 months and inform NTA about it. Additionally, NTA has also directed Ncell to submit details of service renewal in 15 days after 2077 Jestha 18. NTA has also fined Ncell Rs. 50,000 for the unauthorized act.
NTA’s ruling on Ncell will become a suitable reference to other service providers to act within the proximity of terms and conditions. But we are yet to see whether Ncell complies with NTA’s verdict or makes a case against it.
Although Autorenewal is not illegal, the service provider needs to make customers fully aware of resubscribing to the same packages. However, in the absence of multiple-layer consent from the customers and digital awareness among people, this has become a controversy for a long time.