After much dilly-dallying, Indian telecom operators have finally decided to put up a system to curb unsolicited calls and text massages. Notably, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its earlier order, had mandated that telecom operators put in place a system which curbs unsolicited calls and text massages.
The system — Unsolicited Commercial Communications, which was initially proposed to come up in February this year, will go live on September 27th.
The new regulations mandate two databases – a Do Not Call and a Do Call registry – with 7 preference categories for choosy customers who would like to receive only select calls and SMSs. The new system will automatically include people who have already registered with the Do Not call registry and a “filtering” feature in it will block unsolicited massages/calls from reaching the registered customers.
A new numbering prefix for the telemarketers will allow people to know if it is a marketing call or not merely by looking at the incoming number.
“COAI and its members are pleased to continue our close cooperation with TRAI to make the launch of the UCC system a grand success which we expect will delight our customers,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.
He further stated: “We believe this is a comprehensive approach to the problem and is our best chance to stop this nuisance to our customers.”
COAI was, however, careful not to set expectations saying that while we expect a smooth roll out, any project of this magnitude and complexity (over 800 million connections, covering 22 circles and 12 operators), bound to have a few hiccups. We hope these will be minor and customers will enjoy this new experience.
If you are not yet registered with the National Do not call registry (now called Consumer Preferncee National Register or NCPR) you can do so by registering your telephone numbers with your telecom service provider for inclusion in the NCPR by dialling 1909. Your number will be included in the NCPR within seven days of the registration of your request with the service provider.
You can check the status of your registration in the NCPR by clicking on “Customer Registration Status”. You can also register by going to your service providers’ website. There you will also get options to stop marketing calls selectively. For instance, you can allow banking related calls and messages and bar the rest.