Finally, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has brought a good news for more than 800 M mobile customers of India. Indian mobile subscribers have long been waiting for this menace to end soon. However, TRAI’s earlier efforts to ban the pesky calls and SMS has not been much fruitful. But this time TRAI has taken this up in a very strict manner and has announced heavy penalties for the telemarketer defaulters. Majority of Indian mobile subscribers have been complaining about receiving unwanted commercial communication (i.e. unwanted promotional messages and calls) on their mobile phones. Many of these subscribers have been receiving such calls and messages inspite of having registered already with TRAI’s “Do Not Call” registry. However, this time, in order to curb this menace of unwanted calls and SMS, TRAI has recommended heavy penalty of up to 2.5 lacs per offence for the telemarketing companies. This also includes disconnection of telephone numbers for such defaulting telemarketing companies. TRAI had already disconnected more than 70000 telephone connections of registered telemarketing companies on account of making unwanted calls to the registered customers.
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The whole process has been made quite simpler and clearer this time for an easy implementation. This includes
Registration by a mobile subscriber for the National Customer Preference Register which was earlier named as Do Not Call registry.
Mandatory registration by all telemarketing companies.
Easy identification of all unwanted or unsolicited calls and messages.
Mechanism for the mobile subscribers to enable Full or partial block of pesky calls and messages.
Procedure to log a complaint against a telemarketing company by a mobile subscriber for breaching the guidelines.
The strict implementation of the whole process of blocking calls and SMS as well as imposing fines for the defaulter will be effective from September 27, 2011. All the Indian mobile subscribers can hope to get a relief from all nonsense and unwanted calls and SMS with this. However, you will continue to receive all those calls and messages until you register with TRAI’s National Customer Preference Register. You need not register again if you had already registered with Do Not Call registry.
How to Identify the Unwanted or Pesky Calls and Messages
DoT has allotted number ‘140’ series for the fixed line and 10 digits number series of ‘70NNNNNNNN’ for the mobiles. This will ensure an easy identification of such calls and messages by mobile subscribers irrespective of the fact if they are registered or not.
Registration Process for Mobile Subscribers to Fully or Partial Block the Unsolicited Calls and SMSs
Mobile subscribers can register their telephone number with the National Customer Preference Register by dialing a toll free number 1909 and by sending an SMS to 1909. You can then set your preference either via an IVR or with the help of a customer care executive. For registering and setting up the preference via SMS, the SMS message has to be sent in the following format to the number 1909.
SMS “START 0” to 1909 for fully blocked option i.e. blocking all the calls and messages
SMS “START <option>” to 1909 for partial blocking. The options has to be filled up as per following;
1 -Banking/ Insurance /Financial products/Credit cards
2 –Real Estate
5 -Consumer goods and automobiles
6 -Communication /Broadcasting / Entertainment /IT
7 -Tourism and Leisure
For example, if you wish to receive messages related to only Banking/ Insurance /Financial products/Credit cards category and would like to block rest all, then you will have to send the following SMS to 1909;
Telemarketer Registration Process
Telemarketers can register themselves through Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal by TRAI. Telemarketing companies can access this portal at www.nccptrai.gov.in and then register themselves by clicking on link “New Telemarketer Registration”. Telemarketers will have to pay a fee of Rs. 1000 for registration and Rs. 9000 for customer education fee.
Do you know, that now, you can not send more than 100 SMS per day as per TRAI.
Process to Register a Complaint Against Telemarketing Company for sending Unsolicited Communication
If as a mobile subscriber, you continue to receive the unsolicited calls and SMS even after seven days of registration of your telephone number, you can make a complaint by dialing a toll free number 1909 or by sending an SMS to 1909. However, please note, you should use the same telephone to make a complaint on which such unwanted calls or SMS was received. Ensure to register your complaint within 3 days of receiving such call or SMS. If you wish to make the complaint via SMS to 1909 number, then SMS message has to be in the following format;
“COMP TEL NO XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy, Time hh:mm”
where XXXXXXXXXXX is the telephone number from which you have received the unsolicited call or SMS.
Your complaint will get registered and you will receive a complaint registration number via SMS. You can hope to know the action taken on your complaint within 7 days of registering your complaint.