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27 October 2020

BSNL has made SMS based second consent (OTP) mandatory for activation and renewal of Mobile Value Added Services

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has made SMS based second consent mandatory for activation and renewal of all Mobile Value Added Services. Now BSNL Mobile customers may activate or renew any VAS (Value Added Services) on his mobile number only after giving explicit second consent from his number in the form of OTP.

BSNL has made SMS based second consent (OTP) mandatory for activation and renewal of Mobile Value Added Services

BSNL has implemented these new guidelines for VAS activation in an attempt to reduce customer complaints and to improve customer satisfaction. With the implementation of new guidelines, it is assumed that unwanted VAS activation complaints from mobile customers would be reduced to the bare minimum. From now onwards, customers will be asked to give second consent in the form of OTP at the time of renewal of existing Value Added Service (VAS) also.

An official statement from BSNL in this regard read as follows :-  Explicit second consent in the form of SMS OTP to be obtained from the customers while activation and renewal of all paid Value Added Services under all modes (USSD / SMS / DATA / 3G / IVR / OBD / SMSDD).

It is also clarified that, the above instructions for mandatorily obtaining explicit second consent through SMS OTP for activation and renewal of the paid VAS services are not applicable for the bundled products. Now a days, BSNL started offering many bundled offers and services to its prepaid mobile customers. Some of them are - Free BSNL Tunes, Free EROS NOW Plus Membership, Free Lokdhun Content etc. As per this latest clarifications, second consent is not mandatory for the activation of free value added services which are bundled with a plan voucher or special tariff voucher.

How can I deactivate Value Added Services activated on my mobile number?

If a customer has activated any paid VAS on his number, then it is mandatory to get explicit second consent via SMS for its activation. For the deactivation of VAS, a customer can use toll free number 155223. This toll free number is common to all mobile customers in India. It means, the same toll free number 155223 can be accessed by customers of BSNL, Jio, Vi, or Airtel. Customer can use 155223 to deactivate value added services like - Caller Tune, Hello Tune, Cricket Alerts, Job Alerts, Astrology, News Alerts, Voice Chat Services etc.

Deactivation of Value Added Services (VAS) through 155223 

A uniform toll free short code number '155223' has been assigned to deactivate the Value Added Services (VAS) in an easy, user friendly and transparent manner through SMS and IVRS.

Procedure to deactivate any VAS through SMS mode:
  • Type 'STOP' and send it to 155223 from your mobile phone. (A blank SMS may also be sent to 155223)
  • You will get a list of all VAS services activated on your mobile number. 
  • Now reply back with the option of the VAS you want to deactivate, selected from the list of VAS activated on your phone.
  • You will receive an SMS informing the receipt of your deactivation request (with the name of VAS) that the service will be deactivated within 4 hours. (In case of incorrect response sent by you, an SMS will be sent to you informing the method once again)
  • After actual deactivation of VAS, you will receive an SMS to confirm that the service (with the name of VAS) has been deactivated.
Procedure to deactivate VAS through IVRS mode: 
  • In each State, the IVRS is available with an option of minimum 2 languages – English and the dominant language of the state.
  • On dialing 155223, you will be offered over a recorded announcement, the list of VAS activated on your mobile number. e.g. "…welcome to XYZ Telecom Ltd….to Stop Caller Tunes Press 1, to Stop Cricket Alert press 2…… to repeat press 0…" (in case Caller Tune and Cricket Alert are active)
  • You can select the VAS to be deactivated, by pressing the appropriate key for the VAS to be deactivated. e.g. "to deactivate Cricket Alert, you shall press 2."
  • You will receive an SMS informing that the request to deactivate the VAS has been received; it will be deactivated within 4 hours.
  • After deactivation of the VAS, another SMS confirming the deactivation of VAS will be sent to you.
In case of wrong key pressed or no key pressed for 10 seconds:
  • You will be informed that the key pressed is wrong and the list of activated VAS will be repeated once again.
  • If you are not able to press correct key again, you will be transferred to a call center agent.
Note: Subscribers, who wish to deactivate any of the VAS on 155223, will not be diverted to any other helpline for deactivation of VAS.

Dear readers, please share your views and opinions about this latest customer friendly initiative taken by BSNL via comments with us.

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