The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is planning to announce a new mechanism to effectively arrest pesky commercial calls on Wednesday.According to a senior Trai official,a new tougher system to arrest these calls is expected to come into effect on January 1,2011.According to Trai sources,a Customer Call Preference Registration (CCPR) will be put in place using a software,which will ensure that the calls of telemarketers trying to reach subscribers who do not wish to receive such calls,are barred.
The new regime offers choices to the consumer.For starters,all commercial calls will be clearly identified as a new 70-series number would be given to all tele-marketers.This serves two purposes: identifying such calls and responding to them only at will.For example,a consumer may choose not to take such a call while on roaming.
So one can recognize those calls starting with 70 series but if still some one violates your privacy you can complain to TRAI.
Further,commercial calls can be categorised to allow subscribers to choose which calls they would like to receive or block.Alternatively,subscribers can choose to receive commercial information only through messages.To make this work,Trai will give a list of registered tele-marketers and CCPR numbers to mobile operators.Every tele-marketer will have to register with the mobile operators.If at all,any tele-marketer tries calling a subscriber who desires privacy,the call will be barred and the tele-marketer will be fined.
DND facility which is provided by all the operators is not so effective as it takes 45 days of time and even after registering in DND people get marketing calls. Hope this will solve the problem.
Unlike the previous Regulations which provided only for a Do Not Call Registry, the Regulations issued today provide a wide choice to the customer. He may choose to be under the ‘fully blocked’ category which
is aking to the Do Not Call Registry under the previous Regulations or he may choose the ‘partially blocked’ category, in which case he will receive SMSs in the category/categories chosen by him. There are seven
categories from which the customer can choose –
1.Banking/Insurance/Financial products/credit cards; 2- Real Estate; 3.Education; 4.Health; 5.Consumer goods and automobiles; 6.Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT; 7-Tourism and Leisure. Wherever the customer is in the ‘partially blocked’ category, he shall not get any commercial calls.
The ‘partially blocked’ category is like
a Do Call Registry. Thus, the customer can either choose his categories (Do Call), or choose to be under the fully blocked category (Do not Call) or not to register at all. 5. Customer registration will be effective within seven days of registration unlike in the past when it used to be 45 days.
The customer can register by ringing up 1909 or sending SMS to 1909. This service will be toll free and the customer will be given a Registration number.
Customer currently on the NDNC register will continue to be registered under the ‘fully blocked’ category and need no re-registration.
6. The procedure for registration of telemarketers with TRAI has also been simplified. All telemarketers now have the facility of registering online. They can also make payment of the necessary fees either online
or offline. The registration will be immediate on payment of registration fee. Telemarketers currently registered with DOT should reregister.
7. The scrubbing of numbers which used to be done by a centralised agency earlier, causing delays and other difficulties, has now been replaced by a system where telemarketers are required to scrub the data before sending the SMSs/making the calls through their service providers’ network. In addition, it has also been made mandatory for the
3service providers to filter the data. This two-stage screening is designed to stop any unsolicited calls/SMS.
The defaulting telemarketers will be liable to pay heavy penalties.
The telemarketers are required to enter into an agreement with the service provider before they get telecom resources. As part of the agreement, the telemarketers are required to commit that the following amounts would be deducted from the security offered by them.
First offence Rs. 25,000/-; Second offence, 75,000/-; Third offence Rs.80,000/-; Fourth offence Rs.1,20,000/-; Fifth offence Rs. 1,50,000/-;and Sixth offence Rs.2,50,000/-.
The Service Providers are required to deduct these amounts and deposit the same with TRAI. In addition to
being liable for deduction of security as indicated above, the telemarketer will be blacklisted on commission of the sixth offence. The telecom resources of the blacklisted telemarketer will be disconnected by all the
service providers and will not be restored for a period of two years.
The Regulations also provide for an aggrieved customer to lodge complaint with his service provider who is required to take appropriate action and inform the customer of the action taken within seven days.
Concerns have been expressed about the telemarketing calls/SMSs from unregistered telemarketers, who can be any of the 700 million subscribers. With a simpler registration process, it is expected that all telemarketers will register themselves with TRAI. Nevertheless, in order to minimise such instances, the Regulations provide that no service provider shall provide packages containing more than 100 SMS per day.
The Regulations also provide that in the event of such an Unsolicited Commercial Communication (from an unregistered ordinary subscriber) he will be warned on the first offence and his telephone disconnected on
commission of the second offence.
A separate numbering series 70XXXXXXXX will be allocated for telemarketers, so that all telemarketing calls can be easily identified. Any call that comes from any number beginning with 70 will be a commercial
call and the customer has the choice of receiving or not receiving the call. Therefore, even a customer who chooses not to register at all, has a choice. Likewise, a unique SMS header has been mandated for easy
identification of commercial SMSs
The Regulations mandate that no commercial communication, even for unregistered customers, shall be sent between 9.00 PM to 9.00 AM, so as not to disturb the customers at night.
The complete version of “The Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010” is available on TRAI’s website (http://www.trai.gov.in/).