In continuation of Part I which mostly cover the mobile users, this part covers the telemarketing agencies and service providers.
Registration of Telemarketers
In order to have control on telemarketing agencies, the procedure for registration of telemarketers with TRAI is simplified. They got the facility of registering online with TRAI with payment facility. The registration will be complete as soon as payment is made online. The telemarketing agencies that have their registration with TRAI already has to re-register now under the above said 7 categories.
- The telemarketers are required to enter into an agreement with the service providers before they get telecom resources for marketing. The agreement covers demand and receipt of sufficient deposit money from telemarketing companies towards penalties. The penalty amounts are also specified in the agreement and if any breach of TRAI guidelines is there in respect of DNC terms, service providers can deduct the amount from the security offered by telemarketing companies. The penalty for first offence will be Rs.25000/- ; second offence Rs.75000; third offence Rs.80000; fourth offence Rs.120000; Fifth offence Rs.150000 and sixth offence Rs. 250000. The Service providers are required to deposit the amount deducted with TRAI.
- In addition to penalty, the telemarketer will be blacklisted on commission of the sixth offense. The telecom resources of the blacklisted telemarketer will be disconnected by all the service providers as per instruction issued by TRAI based on details of sixth offense from any one of the service provider . This disconnection will be for a period of two years.
- A separate numbering series 70XXXXXXXX ( ten digit number starting with 70 as first two digits) will be allocated for telemarketers so that all telemarketing calls can be easily identified. Any call comes from any number beginning with 70 will be commercial call and the customer has the choice of receiving or not receiving the call. Thus even if any one not registered with DNC registry has a choice of receiving or not receiving the call. The Service Provider has to provide a unique SMS header for easy identification for commercial messages.
- Before sending SMSs/calls, the telemarketing companies should ensure that they are sending the message only to the needy and not to ‘DNC’ category. These are again filtered by service providers before allowing SMSs/calls through their cables. Thus there will be double filters to remove any unsolicited SMSs /calls.
- In order to have control on telemarketing agencies/telemarketers, TRAI directed that no service provider shall provide packages containing more than 100 SMS per day.
- Sometimes, SMS of unsolicited commercial communication from unregistered ordinary subscriber is given. If complaint is received by service providers about these subscribers, then the concerned subscriber will be warned on first instance and if it is repeated for second time, his connection will be disconnected.
- In order to allow or facilitate genuine communication between agencies having commercial transactions with their clients, TRAI has allowed transactional messages to be exempt from this ‘DNC”. Transactional messages are normally from banks/insurance companies/stock brokers or telecom service providers giving information relating to their customers’ accounts or fromairlines/railways to their passengers regarding their flight /train schedules or from educational institutions to the parents. But transactional messages should be allowed in SMS form only and no promotional content will be allowed.
C.R. Venkata Ramani