Telemarketers have been at loggerheads with TRAI and other government agencies for the last few years as the center has tried to bring in reforms to reduce scams. TRAI has been going stringent on both telecom operators and telemarketers and in a new move, the government has issued guidelines which if implemented will become Achilles heel to the telemarketers who act as a nuisance for the consumers. To recall, TRAI launched a stringent action against call drops against the telecom operators a few years back, slapping them with severe penalties to ensure QoS norms. While the mobile networks have largely become reliant, telemarketers are another source who spoil the experience of users.
Government Tackling UCCs By Bringing New Rules and Heavy Penalties
The new guidelines issued by the government detail fines in various slabs for unsolicited calls. In the first slab, for a given month if the telemarketer makes one to ten UCCs, then they will be charged at the rate of Rs 1,000 per violation. In the second month, the penalty would be Rs 5,000 per violation along with a warning letter to be issued. In the third month, the penalty would be Rs 10,000 along with revocation of license for telemarketing. Of course, in all the slabs, regardless of how many times the violation happens if it keeps on going for the third month, then the telemarketer's license can be cancelled.
Stopping Unsolicited Calls By Telemarketers
For cases between 10 to 50 times per month, the first-month penalty would be Rs 5,000 per violation and Rs 10,000 per violation in the second month. The third month would include the Rs 10,000 penalty mixed with revocation. Whereas for all violations involving more than 50 cases, the violation, warning, and revocation on the first, second and third month respectively would invoke a Rs 10,000 penalty. The customers will have the option of stopping these UCCs by messaging “STOP-header name” to 1909. It is worth noting that these provisions may require implementation under TCCCPR 2018 after consultation with TRAI.