No overcharging on data usage by BT says MoEA minister

Action to be taken against violating operators if suspicious deduction is found

The MP from Jomotshangkha-Martshala, Norbu Wangzom questioned the government on recent excess data charges for internet usage by Bhutan telecom.

MP Norbu Wangmo said that in the recent times, people have been clamoring about Bhutan telecom’s deduction of excess data usage and she asked government on how the government is planning to address the issue.

Lyonpo Loknath Sharma who represented the MOIC Minister said, “The Ministry has sought clarification from the regulator and Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) has confirmed that after seeing numerous posts on social media especially on Facebook, the authority has reviewed the charging as well as billing system for data services.”

However, Lyonpo said, “The authority did not find any difference in the charging system of Bhutan telecom. All the charges are applied as per the tariff approved by the authority.”

He said, “Tariff for all services in its networks are approved by BICMA and internet service provider and mobile operators does not have the right to charge our customers as they wish. At the same time customers should understand the fact that Telecom operates in a highly regulated environment.”

Lyonpo said, “In order to clarify the doubts on the charging of data services, the authority has directed mobile operators to provide customized billing clearly spelling out the data usage as well as charges to the customers. In this way, the customers will be aware of their data usage and charges deduction for such use.”

“The authority also conducts periodical checking on the prices charged and the deduction carried out by the mobile operators and has established that all charges are approved by the regulators and there are no overcharging to customers,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo informed that it may not be obvious for the users that mobile phones and computers carry out automatic updates that run in the background and data may be used which are unknown to the users.

However, every transaction is automatically recorded by the billing system. If the customers suspect anything, they are requested to check the detailed bills and if any suspicious deduction can be proven, the regulator is authorized to take action against the violating operators.”

Lyonpo said, “Beside this, we have the Office of ConsumerProtection (OCP) under Ministry of Economic Affairs established to protect consumer and their rights and customers can approach OCP for any illegal practices by vendors.”

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