Monday, October 13, 2014

Why we should report unsolicited calls to TRAI & how to do it

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been one of the first independent regulators in India. The body was formed during the United Front rule in 1997! To regulate the numerous private operators which will start operations in the years to come.

Time and again I have felt that TRAI has done a good job of regulating Telecom Industry, despite the numerous controversies and at times irrational regulations.

The biggest regulation which TRAI did as per me was DND – The Do Not Disturb functionality. It has evolved with time. As more and more advertisers and marketing companies try to by pass the rules, some absurd rules do get introduced like capping the maximum SMS per day but overall it has been consumer friendly.

However, now TRAI has come up with a system to selectively block communication. This facility is available for last 2 years or so, where in you can either block all commercial calls/SMS or decide on which ones to allow from the 7 categories – Financial Management, Real Estate, Education, Health, Consumer Goods, Entertainment/IT & Tourism. The tele marketing numbers now start with 140, however, people continue to use normal phone numbers for tele-marketing calls.

Violation of DND results in fine ranging from 25,000 INR to 250,000 INR and even termination of connection.

Recently I got a lot of unsolicited commercial calls claiming to be from some Credit Card, Mutual Fund, Growth fund, etc and I promptly registered a complaint with TRAI and my telephone service provider – Vodafone has to take action in accordance to TRAI guidelines.

The simple way to act is send an SMS to 1909 in specified format which is “Unsolicited communication, Number from which you received the call, date of call in dd/mm/yy” 

You will get a SMS confirming the complaint. It is mandatory for  your service provider to follow this up with a call informing status and also update the same online Complaint Tracker

The more we all complain, we would be able to get rid of this menace at the earliest.

More details on this can be found on TRAI website  

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