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TRAI crushes Telemarketers further with 5 new amendments

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Telemarketers are yet again facing TRAI’s wrath. In last 18 months, TRAI has come up with many regulations to ensure that mobile subscribers are kept away from highly frustrating Spam SMSes and Pesky callers. This is especially true in case of unregistered tele-marketers and Bulk SMS senders.

TRAI today came out with 5 new amendments to further tighten the noose around commercial SMS senders from unregistered telemarketers. Here is what TRAI has proposed…

TRAI press release-001

Limit of 100 SMS per day per SIM at discounted rates.

Most of the Telecom Operators offer discounted rate SMS packs for Bulk SMS senders. These packs are mis-used, especially by by unregistered telemarketers to send promotional SMSs to consumers. TRAI has now gone ahead and made an amendment which states that only 100 SMSes can be sent per day per SIM card even with these bulk SMS packs. However, if the telemarketers wants to send more SMSes, then will have to send it at the rate of 50 paise per SMS as per the 54th amendment of Telecommunication Tariff.

The above change will come effect within 15 days.

Telecom Operators to come up with technical solution to curb similar SMSes

Many Telemarketers have found ways and means to by-pass existing regulations by sending Bulk SMSes through international gateways using International SIM cards. The 100 SMS amendment given above will be ineffective in such cases.

To overcome this issue, TRAI has ordered Telecom operators to come up with a technical solution where they will have to ensure that not more than 200 SMSs with such similar ‘signature’ are sent in an hour. Generally, all the bulk smses that are sent, have exact same text / format etc. In such cases, it is easy for Operators to find such messages with similar “signatures”. These messages will have to be restricted by the operators and onus of ensuring this is on the operator relaying this message to subscribers.

However, registered telemarketers, transactional message sending entities and telephone numbers exempted by the Authority are excluded from this provision. Normal consumers sending non-commercial SMSs will also not be affected by this measure.

The above change will have to be implemented in 3 months time by the Operators.

Consumer Complaint registration on Bulk SMSes made easy

In addition to the two solutions, TRAI has also made it easier for mobile consumers to launch a complaint through SMSes regarding these bulk messages. The subscriber will now have to just forward the bulk sms received to “1909” after adding the telephone number and date of receipt of the SMS. Operators will also have to establish a web-based complaint registration system for the same.

Operators to Send SMS to subscribers educating Bulk SMS

Operators will have to send periodic SMSes to mobile subscribers advising them not to send any commercial communications and informing them about the consequences of misuse.

Operators to take Undertaking in writing

Going forward, all telecom operators will have to take undertaking from new subscribers stating that they will not be using the connection for telemarketing purposes and informing them that if such case is found, the connection will be liable to be disconnected.

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