Demand to stop pocket-cutting in the name of value-added services

VAS operators are harassing customers and cutting pockets by connecting Value Added Service (VAS) to customers’ mobiles through operators. Therefore, the Bangladesh Cell Phone Customer Association has written to the State Minister of Posts and Telecommunications to stop these harassments.

This letter was given by the association on Sunday (February 18).
According to the letter given to the minister, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has issued about two hundred value added service licenses. The function of all these licenses is to add numerous services including ringtones, news portal updates, music, entertainment content, video games to the customer’s service according to the customer’s needs and deduct the specific charges for that service from his mobile balance.

The letter also states that mobile operators and regulatory commissions also get part of the charges. But in the name of this service, pocket-cutting has been going on for many years, it can be said to be a kind of robbery. On November 11, 2020, after we requested the Regulatory Commission after complaints that there was no money in the mobile balance of the customers, the Regulatory Commission investigated several operators and received complaints of looting of about crores of rupees without the knowledge of the

customers. In particular, Abhi Kathachitra News Alert Tollywood and web series Jhalmuri collected Tk 43 lakh unethically from customers in 2020 in the name of service. Similarly Parpal collects about 33 lakh rupees.
BTRC canceled the licenses of two operators at that time. But the money collected unethically from the customer has not yet been returned to the customer. We appealed to the regulatory commission to refund the unethically collected money to the customer. In this regard, we issued a letter to the chairman of BTRC on 23rd December 2020 and in that letter, we have asked for investigative action against the service providers of Value-Added and recovery of unethically collected money.
The letter states that the customer must call at least twice to confirm whether the customer wants the service. But customer service or not, these pickpocket operators are grabbing thousands of crores of rupees by adding various contents to the customers. Which is a punishable offense under Telecommunication Act 2001 of Panel Code 1860.

They said, we want all unethical services that have collected money in the name of unethical services should be canceled and brought under punishment. Also, all the unethically collected money must be returned to the customer.