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Menace of Pesky Messages and Calls

New Delhi. For addressing the menace of pesky messages and calls to the telecom consumers, TRAI has laid down the framework for controlling the same through the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR). These regulations came into force from 27.09.2011.

With the implementation of these regulations by TRAI with effect from 27.09.2011, the problem of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) has been addressed to a great extent, though complaints are being received, but at a lower scale than before the implementation of the regulations.  Prior to the coming into force of the regulations from 27.09.2011, on an average 47,454 complaints were received per month (Averaged over the period March, 2010 to March, 2011).  However, the total number of complaints lodged by telecom consumers with their service providers from 27.09.2011 to 15.04.2013 was  5,27,457  (27,760 complaints per month).

Sending of unsolicited SMSs by unregistered telemarketers has been the primary reason for receipt of UCC messages by consumers recently. TRAI has recently prescribed certain measures to be taken by service providers. To prevent unregistered telemarketers from misusing bulk SMS packages or tariff plans, which provide for sending large number of SMSs at nominal charges, a price restraint has been placed on sending of more than one hundred SMS per day per SIM at a concessional rate and a minimum charge of 50 paise has been mandated for SMS sent beyond 100 SMS in a day.  With the implementation of these measures, it is expected that the problem of unsolicited commercial SMS will be addressed effectively and satisfactorily.

For controlling unsolicited commercial messages being received by consumers, TRAI has also prescribed penal provisions against telemarketers for violations of the provisions of the regulations.  In case of violation by a registered telemarketer, amounts will be deducted from the security deposit of such telemarketer by the Access Provider and such amount will be deposited with TRAI.[pib]