The Indian telecom Industry with nearly 900 million subscribers is the second largest wireless market in the world. Low tariffs and direct reach to consumers has made SMS and direct calling one of the most cost effective ways of selling services and products. However, telemarketing has brought with it serious issues of invasion of privacy and has become a major irritant to customers.
To holistically curb this growing menace and effectively regulate unsolicited commercial Calls and messages, TRAI has notified “The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010”.
All the provisions of regulations come into force from 27th September, 2011.
The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal is a data base containing a variety of information prescribed in “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010”.
Customers- Customers (landline and mobile) who do not want to receive commercial communications can dial or SMS to 1909 (toll free) and register in either of the two categories:
Fully Blocked Category- stoppage of all commercial Calls/SMS
Partially Blocked Category- stoppage of all commercial Calls/SMS except SMS from one of the opted preferences
For registering option using SMS, for ‘fully blocked category’, write “START 0” and send it to 1909. For ‘partially blocked category’, send SMS ‘START’ with one or multiple options from the list of seven categories.
There are at present 7 preferences to choose from- Banking/Insurance/Financial Products/Credit Cards-1, Real Estate-2, Education-3, Health-4, Consumer goods and automobiles-5, Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT-6, Tourism-7.
For example: To receive messages relating to only Health products, then send SMS “START 4” to 1909. Similarly, for receiving messages relating to Real Estate and Education, send SMS “START 2,3” to 1909.
On successful registration, customer will receive an SMS confirming exercised options and a Unique Registration Number within 24 hrs. The registration will be effective within 7 days of placing the request with the service provider. The customers can check the status of their registration by clicking on “Customer Registration Status”.
Customer can also change the preferences after 7 days of registration or the last change of preference.
If customer receives UCC even after 7 days of registration, he can register a complaint with his service provider within 3 days of receipt of such UCC by dialing or sending SMS to 1909. Customers will have to provide the telephone number or header of the message from where the call or message has been received, short description of such call or message along with the date of receipt of call or message.
For complaint through SMS, customer has to send SMS “the unsolicited commercial communication, XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy” to 1909. Where XXXXXXXXXX – is the telephone number or header of the SMS, from which the UCC has originated.The telephone number or header and the date of receipt of the unsolicited commercial SMS may be appended with such SMS, while forwarding to 1909, with or without space after comma.
Service Provider will take action on complaint and inform the complainant within 7 days of lodging of complaint. Customers may check registration status of his complaint through the link “UCC Complaint Registration Status”.
Customers not registered with NCPR can also identify the commercial calls because they will all come from numbers starting with ‘140’. This is a series specially earmarked for telemarketers.
Also, in order to control the possibility of SMS packages (those allow a very large number of SMS per day) to be used by the telemarketers for sending large number of SMSs from a normal telephone number, a limit of 100 SMS per day per SIM has been laid down under these regulations except on blackout days.
Further, all commercial calls or SMS except the transactional SMSs will be sent to the customers only between 9 AM and 9 PM.
Telemarketers- This portal also facilitates registration of telemarketers. Existing telemarketers also have to re-register with TRAI. To register as telemarketer, click the link “New Telemarketer Registration” and follow the instructions. Payment of registration fee can be made through online mode (credit card/debit card/Internet Banking) or offline mode (cash or DD). Registered telemarketers can download the data base of customers registered on NCPR through this portal using their login credentials and it shall be their responsibility to ensure that no call for SMS is made to such numbers.
The particulars of registered telemarketers can be accessed by clicking the link“List of registered telemarketers”. The detailed Guidelines and procedures to be followed by the telemarketers are provided under the menu “Telemarketers”.
Access Providers- This portal also provides Guidelines and procedures to be adopted by Access Providers under the menu“Access Providers”. Access Providers can do various activities in accordance with the regulations through this portal using their login credentials.
To address your doubts and questions, it is also attempted to cover a number of clarifications and points of additional information in the FAQs.