Mobile Operators To Seek Users Consent On Value-Added Service

PTA Directed Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) To Send Mandatory Confirmation Messages To Their Customers To Enable Value Added Services.

By Aizbah Khan

Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) Has Directed Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) To Send Mandatory Confirmation Messages To Their Customers To Enable Value Added Services (VAS) so that their consent for the services To be obtained. The PTA statement further directed the operators to submit a report within three weeks of the issuance of the order.

The statement said PTA had received complaints from consumers that mobile operators sometimes activate other value-added services, including third-party content/games, without the prior consent of consumers. The PTA took these complaints seriously as it is a violation of Section 9 (3) (vii) of the Telecom Consumer Protection Regulations, 2009 to activate any value-added services without the consent of the consumers. The authority said the move is expected to make mobile users more comfortable.

The statement said PTA is committed to protecting the interests of consumers of telecommunication services in Pakistan. Earlier, the Federal Board of Revenue has issued an explanation on the news circulating about the customs duty imposed on mobile phones. Foreign travellers can register five mobile phones on their passports. FBR further added that the difference between the payment of customs duty and taxes on a phone worth more than $500 and the registration through an identity card is about Rs 9,000.

The FBR says the V-Book module was being changed to close the gap and allow only one phone under passport registration. It was clarified that due to a technical glitch during this process, the withholding tax exemption was removed from the system due to which a customs duty charge of Rs 36,720 was levied on phone registration on the passport.

The FBR said efforts were being made to resolve the issue immediately and the technical team was examining the V-book module, adding that the issue of accuracy of duties and taxes would be rectified by tomorrow. According to the FBR, those who have been overcharged due to this technical glitch will be immediately refunded the overpaid amount. The FBR says it apologizes for the inconvenience caused to the public.

This news was originally published at BOL News.

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