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TRAI issues unsolicited commercial communications regulations

By Abdul Nisar

New Delhi, Dec 1(ANI): The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday issued 'the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010' for curbing unsolicited commercial communications.

The regulation covers both commercial calls as well as SMSs, and will be effective from January 1, 2011.

Unlike the previous regulations, which provided only for a 'Do Not Call Registry', the regulations issued today would provide a wide choice to the customer.

"He may choose to be under the 'fully blocked' category which is akin to the Do Not Call Registry under the previous regulations or he may choose the 'partially blocked' category, in which case he will receive SMSs in the category/categories chosen by him," a statement issued by the Union Communications and Information Technology Ministry on Wednesday said.

There are seven categories from which the customer can choose -

1.Banking/Insurance/Financial products/credit cards, 2. Real Estate, 3. Education, 4. Health, 5. Consumer goods and automobiles, 6. Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT and 7. Tourism and Leisure.

"Wherever the customer is in the 'partially blocked' category, he shall not get any commercial calls. The 'partially blocked' category is like a Do Call Registry. Thus, the customer can either choose his categories (Do Call), or choose to be under the fully blocked category (Do not Call) or not to register at all," the statement added.

Customer registration will be effective within seven days of registration unlike in the past when it used to be 45 days.

The customer can register by ringing up 1909 or sending SMS to 1909.

This service will be toll free and the customer will be given a Registration number.

Customer currently on the NDNC register will continue to be registered under the 'fully blocked' category and need no re-registration.

The regulations 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.

The defaulting telemarketers will be liable to pay heavy penalties, which ranges from Rs. 25,000 for the first offence to Rs. 2,50,000 for the fifth.

The telemarketer will be blacklisted on commission of the sixth offence. (ANI)

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