The telecom regulator has fined Banglalink of Taka 10 lakh, as the cellphone operator bagged Taka 92 crore from customers through offering an unauthorized package, said officials.
“The commission has fined Banglalink because the operator offered a package to customers and collected a big amount from them in the name of ‘flat-rate’ bypassing the regulator,” chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Major General (retd) Zia Ahmed told BSS today.
He said the commission asked the operator to return the collected money to the customers within a month.
The regulator has taken the move, as the explanation on the package “icon” provided by the Banglalink did not seem logical before it (regulator), he added.
Recently, the regulator asked for explanation from the operator for providing the icon package to customers without
taking approval from it.
“All kind of telecom service has to be offered to the customers by taking approval from the BTRC as per the
telecommunication act,” Ahmed said.
Officials said Banglalink introduced the icon brand in November 2010. But, the operator did not use its logo publicly,
which is very confusing for the people. In the package, the operator offered customers Taka 0.65 per minute if they deposit Taka 4 per day, and this way the operator collected a total of Taka 92.33 crore, which was fully illegal, they said.
Zia Ahmed said the total amount has to be returned to the customers through “itop up” for the prepaid user while it has to adjust with monthly bill for postpaid users. “The process has to be completed within a month”.
Talking to BSS, Zakiul Islam, senior director (Legal and Corporate Affairs) of Banglalink, said that he did not know
anything as he is abroad now.
Officials said different kinds of bundle offers including air ticket and handset, made under the icon brand, were totally
illegal, as those were not complying with the telecom act.
On the other hand, the icon does not follow the “roll over minute” system, which is considered globally as the best practice to protest consumers’ interest.
The officials said if any user fails to use his total minute and data within a month under the icon brand, it does not remain
valid for the next month. So, the process makes the customer economically loser, they added.
Recently, the regulator has put special attention to ensure the customer’s interest.