The end of unwanted texts and calls from marketing executives might be near. Last year, TRAI had announced that calling phone numbers registered in the Do-Not-Call Registry (over a 100 million mobile phone users) would invoke a first fine of Rs and up to Rs 2.5 lakh for the sixth offense, after which any failure to comply would lead to a 2 year blacklist.
Previously, penalties stood at Rs 500 and Rs 1000. This powerful measure had not been legislated, even after 4 (missed) deadlines. Now, according to an official's statement to the Economic Times, this measure might be formally passed by end June.
The new rules will let you screen out all telemarketing calls, while opting to receive SMSs, which can also be filtered by your area of choice, ranging from banking and financial products to real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication, entertainment, tourism and leisure.
Further, you won't be receiving this text messages at odd hours - the 9PM to 9 AM telemarketing text window will be closed. This will also be applicable to unregistered customers.
The TRAI recently sent a new communication to the Indian Department of Telecom, asking for completion of registering telemarketers with the '140' number series, an easy way to spot unsolicited commercial calls.
However, BSNL is asking for more time (till the end of the calendar year)to upgrade to the new ten-digit numbers starting with 140.
'The delay is due to BSNL - most of their switching infrastructure is old and it will be challenge for them to get it ready to handle the new numbering series on landlines. On the mobile side, the infrastructure is largely in place across all operators," explained Rajan Mathews, who heads the Cellular Operators Association of India, the industry lobby representing all GSM players.
There have also been reports of more powers in curbing erring telemarketers. Action on spam SMS and telemarketing scenario was held up due to the legal issues between regulators and the Department of Telecom.
Data from InsightVAS