TRAI: Say NO to unwanted commercial calls, msgs from Sept 27

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New Delhi, Sept 6: The day has finally arrived when customers can bid farewell to pesky telemarketers and unwanted commercial text messages for good. The ban will be implemented from Sept 27 according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The mobile phone and landline users would be free from such irritating free calls and messages from last week of September.

Last year, TRAI had announced the new rules under which telemarketers, who call customers registered with Do Not Call, would face fines of 75,000 for the first violation and up to 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence, following which they would be blacklisted for two years. However, this has not been implemented yet.

"DoT has provided the '140' number series to be allocated to telemarketers. Access providers (operators) have to make the relevant provisions in their network before allocation of resources to telemarketers using the '140' numbering series from both mobile and fixedline networks," Trai said.

Ernst & Young's telecom industry leader Prashant Singhal said, "It's very irritating to get such calls and text messages from a consumer's perspective. Telcos will feel an impact on revenues, by 1-2% which is around $200-300 million on an industry level, that come from originating and terminating charges."

State-run telecoms, BSNL and MTNL, will have to install new equipment to transmit the 13-digit numbers to landlines, most of which are equipped with caller-identification.

India has over 850 million mobile and over 34 million landline subscribers. Under the new rules, mobile users will have a choice of blocking only telemarketing voice calls while choosing to receive SMSes.

When receiving text messages, they can specify an area of choice like banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism or leisure.

The customers can change these preferences after seven days compared to the earlier restriction of three months. This will give more control to consumers.

OneIndia News

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