New Delhi: Subscribers have been facing the menace of receiving unsolicited promotional SMSs from unregistered tele-marketers who often take the advantage of concessional SMS offers by telecom operators. In an effort to curb pesky messages from unregistered telemarketers, TRAI has come up with new measures. Here is everything that you need to know:
1. To prevent unregistered telemarketers from misusing SMS packs or tariff plans for sending bulk promotional SMSs, a price restraint has been placed on sending of more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM at a concessional rate. The subscriber is free to send SMSs beyond this number, however, all such SMSs sent beyond one hundred SMS per day per SIM shall be charged at a rate not lower than the rate prescribed by the Authority. For every SMS beyond the cap of 100 SMSes, a charge of minimum 50 paise will be applicable, the regulator said.
2. Operators have also been asked to put in place a solution within three months, which will ensure that no commercial SMS are sent having same or similar characters from any source number. The solution will ensure that no more than 200 SMS with such similar 'signature' are sent in an hour.
3. The lodging of a Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) complaint through SMS has been made easier. Now the complaint can be lodged through SMS by simply forwarding the UCC SMS to 1909 after appending the telephone number and date of receipt of the SMS.
4. Access providers will also establish a web-based complaint registering system and a dedicated e-mail address to receive such complaints on UCC.
5. For increasing consumer awareness and to caution against misuse, Access providers have been mandated to send SMS to all customers on periodic basis, advising them not to send any commercial communications and informing them about the consequences of misuse.
6. Whenever a new customer is enrolled for service, the Access Provider is required to take an undertaking from such customer in the Customer Acquisition Form that he shall not use the connection for telemarketing purpose and in case he uses the connection for telemarketing purposes such connection shall be liable to be disconnected.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had last week said he too was a victim of the unsolicited communications. "Every two minutes I get such SMS," he had said. TRAI is taking up the issue of pesky calls and SMSes, he had added.
However, registered telemarketers, transactional message sending entities and telephone numbers exempted by TRAI are excluded from this provision, Parameswaran added.