National, Front Page

Action against ‘pushed’ mobile messages

Published : 13 Jun 2021 10:53 PM | Updated : 14 Jun 2021 12:10 AM

Many Value Added Service (VAS) providers are reportedly ‘pushed’ on some services on mobile phone despite opting not to receive such promotional text messages by many subscribers.

Acknowledging such unethical practice, an official of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) told Bangladesh Post that even after opting not to receive such promotional messages a large number of subscribers submit complaints that they are still receiving such messages.

They would soon launch drives to catch such unscrupulous businessmen and punish them accordingly.

It is reported that such unethical practice is taking place without the permission of the mobile users. Some VAS organizations automatically launched various services on mobile operators in which a certain amount of subscription is charged on daily, weekly, or monthly basis.    

President of Muthophone Grahok Association Mohiuddin Ahmad told Bangladesh Post that, “These so called VAS are still continuing their services. There is around 186 such service providers, where only two or three providers were under surveillance. As still a large number of service providers are out of surveillance, they are continuing their operation.” 

“As these providers silently embezzled subscribers’ money, subscribers have the right to get their money back. In the Digital Bangladesh, charging subscribers in the name of news alert, welcome tune, religious quotes is inappropriate where these things are now just a fingertip away,” Mohiuddin Ahmed added. 

However, in a recent BTRC’s preliminary investigation into the allegations against some companies having found evidence that a good number of services are launched in subscriber’s mobile after midnight. These services providers got subscribers information from mobile operators’ companies. 

The newly appointed BTRC chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder, after taking charge while interacting with media recently said, “Operators will not be given any further discount in the future. At the same time, all services that are against the interests of the customer will be stopped.”

On November 10 last year, BTRC sent a letter to Robi and Banglalink to stop the VAS services. In the same letter, an explanation was sought for deducting money by launching services in customer mobile without permission. 

Later, in another letter on December 20, the BTRC informed the two operators that they were being investigated for T-Vass. Such services can no longer be provided during the investigation. 

Later on December 22, the BTRC chairman said that he had withdrawn the decision as mobile operators in a written statement said not to continue such services.