The days of annoying unsolicited telemarketing calls and SMSes seem to be over. As per the guidelines issued by the telecom regulator today,defaulting telemarketing companies sending unsolicited calls or messages would not only attract a penalty of up to Rs 2.5 lakh,they would also be blacklisted by the Telecom regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the sixth offence.
According to TRAI guidelines,effective January 1,2011,such pesky calls would not be allowed between 9:00 pm to 9:00 am and telemarketers will be issued a different set of numbers starting with 70 to help unregistered subscribers identify commercial calls.
Unlike the previous regulations which provided only for a Do Not Call Registry,the regulations provide a wider choice to customers. The subscriber may choose to be under the Fully Blocked category which is akin to the Do Not Call Registry. The user can also choose the Partially Blocked category,in which case he will receive SMSes in the categories chosen by him.
TRAI has identified seven sectors including banking,and financial products,real estate,education,health,consumer goods,automobiles,communication and entertainment,tourism and leisure for the customers,from which he can choose.
In case of violations,as per the revised guidelines,the telemarketers would have to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 for the first offence which would go up to Rs 75,000 in case of a second violation,Rs 80,000 for the third,Rs 1.25 lakh for the fourth,Rs 1.5 lakh for the fifth and Rs 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence,following which the number will be blocked by all service providers. Besides,TRAI has also asked operators not to offer packages containing more than 100 SMSes per day after concerns were raised over the fact that any subscriber can indulge in commercial communication from their numbers.
In case of repeated unsolicited commercial calls from an unregistered ordinary subscriber,his/her telephone will be disconnected.
TRAI also expedited the registration process for users wherein now the customer registration under fully or partially blocked category would be effective within seven days of registration,unlike in the past when it used to take 45 days. The customer can register by ringing up 1909 or sending an SMS to 1909.
Customer at present on the National Do Not Call Registry will continue to be registered under the Fully Blocked category and need no re-registration.