While trashing the official directive from PTA, Mobile phone companies are still charging a call setup charges of 12 paisas (including taxes) on each outgoing call even after Pakistan Telecommunication Authority directed them to immediately withdraw the charges.
Mobile phone consumers confirmed ProPakistani that a call setup charge of 12 paisas is deducted for each paid, bundled or free call.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, almost a week ago, had directed Mobile phone companies to withdraw this call-setup charge by saying that this charge is against the Consumers protection regulation.
However, mobile phone operators have put a deaf ear to the directive and instead told PTA that they won’t be able to take-back the charges that have increased users’ spend by over 8 percent in total.
PTA, in response to such a feedback, has called a industry meeting (with-in this week) to discuss the matter.
PTA believes that, as a regulator, it had done its job by asking cellular companies to withdraw the call-setup charges to safeguard the customers. However, the PTA said, it also has to listen to mobile phone companies and their reservations to safeguard the industry.
While we haven’t sensed that PTA is influenced by cellular operators, it is highly likely that call setup charges will continue to haunt the customers’ pockets.
Just to add, Competition Commission of Pakistan is another authority that can protect telecom users from this ruthless charge, however, the issue can easily get buried like helpline charges and services charges that were never considered by CCP despite a clear incident of cartelization by cellular companies.