TRAI Announces New Regulation to Curb Unwanted Calls and SMSes

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today announce a new mechanism to effectively arrest pesky commercial calls and empowered consumers against unwanted calls and SMSes.

In order to find a solution to this problem, 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 New Regulations will be will be effective from 1st January, 2011 and it also 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.

According to the new regulation by TRAI, 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/Telecom operators 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.

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