From September 27th, 2011 mobile phone customers who have registered with National Customer Preference Registry (modified version of what was earlier called Do Not Call Registry) will not receive any call or unwanted commercial text messages from annoying telemarketers, says TRAI. TRAI is going to implement this, after missing four deadlines.
TRAI had announced the new rules last year under which telemarketers, who call customers registered with Do Not Call, would face fines of 75,000 for the first violation and up to 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence, following which they would be blacklisted for two years. However, this has not been implemented yet.
A common and easily identifiable number series for calls and SMSes emanating from telemarketers wasn’t available, which initially delayed implementation.
State-run telcos, BSNL and MTNL, will have to install new equipment to transmit the 13-digit numbers to landlines, most of which are equipped with caller-identification.
India has over 850 million mobile and over 34 million landline subscribers. Under the new rules, mobile users will have a choice of blocking only telemarketing voice calls while choosing to receive SMSes.
When receiving text messages, they can specify an area of choice like banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism or leisure. Customers can change these preferences after seven days compared to the earlier restriction of three months.
“DoT has provided the ‘140’ number series to be allocated to telemarketers. Access providers (operators) have to make the relevant provisions in their network before allocation of resources to telemarketers using the ‘140’ numbering series from both mobile and fixedline networks” .