The customers would not have to pay extra charges for calls or SMSes beyond their existing tariff plans on festival days like Diwali and New Year, says a TRAI directive issued on Sep 14, 2012.
"The charges for calls or SMSs on 'blackout' days shall not exceed the rate in the tariff plan in which the consumer is enrolled," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said. It needs to be clarified if the Blackout days have been mentioned in the plan the customer has enrolled for, those blackout days will stay till the plan period.
Those days are called 'Blackout days' which belong to some special occasion or festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra and on such days the telecom operators do not allow concessional voice calls and SMS offered by the same companies on normal days under other plans or packages.
The regulator has also said the telecom operators would also have to intimate the consumers before the start of the blackout day and the said date/occasion will also be intimated to the customers.
The blackout days’ list for the year should also be displayed on the website of service providers before the start of the year. There are earlier guidelines in place earlier which suggest there should no more than five blackout days per year and once the package has been subscribed to, there should be no alteration by the telecom operator.