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.
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