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rajan.srivastava

TRAI and their ambiguous stand on the penal clause of unsolicited calls

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rajan.srivastava

I filed an RTI query to TRAI and got a very surprising resp; here are the details:

 

On the NDNC website, they have mentioned following line: "In case of non-compliance to the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007, the Service Provider is also liable to pay an amount by way of financial disincentive, not exceeding Rs.5000/- for first non-compliance of the regulation"

 

I interpreted the above text (specially, underlined words) as a fine (or penalty) to be paid by the service provider to the victim called party. When I tried to clarify the same with TRAI (via ant RTI query, thanks to this website for help), TRAI replied with one liner "No compensation", without explaining the meaning of their above clause. Neither did they say that the above clause is obsolete.

 

 

In RTI reply (against my queries), TRAI said they do not maintain any data regarding how many subscribers have raised complaints for unsolicited calls! You should note that TRAI _does_ maintain (and publish) the data of misc subscribers' complaints and how timely the providers have fixed those complaints!

 

It seems that something is fishy in this business.

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karira

Can you please post your RTI application and the response of the PIO of TRAI ?

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sharadphadke

Yes please. I have complaint many times to IDEA about SMS but get information "ON PHONE" so and so fined. I also would like to pursue this matter. I have written to IDEA to inform TRAI decision only by mail and not on phone but so fat no response from them.

By the way being govt. organization where is there postal address and other details as per section 4? I don't find and link/information on their page. Then how did you applied? Where is the address?

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karira

By the way being govt. organization where is there postal address and other details as per section 4? I don't find and link/information on their page. Then how did you applied? Where is the address?

 

TRAI Contact details: TRAI :::::::

 

TRAI Sec 4 disclosure: TRAI :::::::

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rajan.srivastava

Right now, I am in touch with media in this regard. They (TOI grp) are trying to get more information from TRAI; also since TRAI's RTI-reply has contradicted with their own regulations, I have been asked to complain it to appellate.

 

Once all these matters get concluded, I'll publish every relevant doc here so that others can get benefited.

 

Sharad,

Pls keep on "mail"ing your complaints of unsolicited calls to your provider (all the providers are supposed to have 3-level system to address subscribers' problems; if you don't have their mail-ids, check it on TRAI's website or your provider's site). May be one day, TRAI accepts that yes there's a penal clause, your provider will be giving you a lot of money ...:) :) :D

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rajan.srivastava

After a couple of RTI queries and responses, I found such facts that raises doubt whether TRAI is really working for consumer or for service-providers! I have attached the latest RTI query and its response with this thread.

 

I discovered followings via these RTI queries/responses:

 

a. TRAI does NOT maintain any statistics regarding how many people have complained about Unsolicited Commercial Calls (UCC). Please note that TRAI does have records telling how many subscribers are complaining other kinds of problems!

b. TRAI has made a strange regulation for redressal of UCC issue-- if a UCC is confirmed, the service provider will pay a fine to the Government. This seems ridiculous. Shouldn't the victim subscriber have been made beneficiary? If they had made victim subscriber a beneficiary of the case, the menace would have certainly been clipped.

c. TRAI's committee, to be formed at the time when a complaint is registered, will finally conclude: a) whether the complaint is valid; b) severity of the complaint. It's still not clear how a common man would raise its voice to TRAI!

d. TRAI is wasting lacs of rupees in maintaining NDNC registry -- which doesn't serve any purpose. [Rather, people say that tele-marketers use NDNC database to get valid mobile numbers :D]. Recently, I had read somewhere that TRAI is coming up with the idea of 'Call me' registry rather than NDNC. I now suspect their very intention whether TRAI is really interested in solving this menace! Instead of doing this registry related change, TRAI should just enforce their existing law after making it unambiguous.

 

When I think of IRDA, SEBI and RBI like regulators, I find them very strict bodies that stand _with_ customers. For TRAI, it seems that it'll take lots of efforts before it can get people's confidence.

Query.JPG

Response.JPG

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Akhilsinghal

Dear Sir,

I am fed up of Deal and you sending me sms' daily. My number is registered under NDNC. I complained a couple of times but still there is no action taken on my complains. what should I do?

The compensation part, if the victim is not compensated then what is the use NDNC. The guidelines are provided on the NDNC website, if they don't follow the guide lines what can we do?

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Akhilsinghal

In case of non-compliance to the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007, the Service Provider is also liable to pay an amount by way of financial disincentive, not exceeding Rs.5000/- for first non-compliance of the regulation and in case of second or subsequent such non-compliance, an amount not exceeding Rs.20,000/- for each such non-compliance.

 

What are these regulation exactly??

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Akhilsinghal

TRAI Issues Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2010 Regulations to take effect from 1st January, 2011

No Commercial Communication between 9.00 PM To 9.00 AM

December 1, 2010

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010”. This Regulation covers both Commercial calls as well as SMSs. It will be effective from 1st January, 2011.

 

It may be recalled that in June 2007, TRAI had notified the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007. Despite various measures taken by the Authority for curbing Unsolicited Commercial Communications, dissatisfaction on this account among telecom consumers continues. Although the number of unsolicited commercial voice calls had decreased to some extent, the number of unsolicited SMS had increased significantly causing inconvenience to telecom customers.

 

In order to find a solution to this problem, TRAI initiated consultation process in May 2010. After extensive discussions with all stakeholders, TRAI has today issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations 2010”.

 

Unlike the previous Regulations which provided only for a Do Not Call Registry, the Regulations issued today provide a wide choice to the customer. He may choose to be under the ‘fully blocked’ category which is akin to the Do Not Call Registry under the previous Regulations or he may choose the ‘partially blocked’ category, in which case he will receive SMSs in the category/categories chosen by him. There are seven categories from which the customer can choose – 1.Banking/Insurance/Financial products/credit cards; 2- Real Estate; 3.Education; 4.Health; 5.Consumer goods and automobiles; 6.Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT; 7-Tourism and Leisure. Wherever the customer is in the ‘partially blocked’ category, he shall not get any commercial calls. The ‘partially blocked’ category is like a Do Call Registry. Thus, the customer can either choose his categories (Do Call), or choose to be under the fully blocked category (Do not Call) or not to register at all.

 

Customer registration will be effective within seven days of registration unlike in the past when it used to be 45 days. The customer can register by ringing up 1909 or sending SMS to 1909. This service will be toll free and the customer will be given a Registration number. Customer currently on the NDNC register will continue to be registered under the ‘fully blocked’ category and need no re-registration.

 

The procedure for registration of telemarketers with TRAI has also been simplified. All telemarketers now have the facility of registering online. They can also make payment of the necessary fees either online or offline. The registration will be immediate on payment of registration fee. Telemarketers currently registered with DOT should reregister.

 

The scrubbing of numbers which used to be done by a centralised agency earlier, causing delays and other difficulties, has now been replaced by a system where telemarketers are required to scrub the data before sending the SMSs/making the calls through their service providers’ network. In addition, it has also been made mandatory for the service providers to filter the data. This two-stage screening is designed to stop any unsolicited calls/SMS.

 

The defaulting telemarketers will be liable to pay heavy penalties. The telemarketers are required to enter into an agreement with the service provider before they get telecom resources. As part of the agreement, the telemarketers are required to commit that the following amounts would be deducted from the security offered by them.

 

First offence Rs. 25,000/-; Second offence, 75,000/-; Third offence Rs. 80,000/-; Fourth offence Rs.1,20,000/-; Fifth offence Rs. 1,50,000/-; and Sixth offence Rs.2,50,000/-. The Service Providers are required to deduct these amounts and deposit the same with TRAI. In addition to being liable for deduction of security as indicated above, the telemarketer will be blacklisted on commission of the sixth offence. The telecom resources of the blacklisted telemarketer will be disconnected by all the service providers and will not be restored for a period of two years.

 

The Regulations also provide for an aggrieved customer to lodge complaint with his service provider who is required to take appropriate action and inform the customer of the action taken within seven days.

 

Concerns have been expressed about the telemarketing calls/SMSs from unregistered telemarketers, who can be any of the 700 million subscribers. With a simpler registration process, it is expected that all telemarketers will register themselves with TRAI. Nevertheless, in order to minimise such instances, the Regulations provide that no service provider shall provide packages containing more than 100 SMS per day. The Regulations also provide that in the event of such an Unsolicited Commercial Communication (from an unregistered ordinary subscriber) he will be warned on the first offence and his telephone disconnected on commission of the second offence.

 

TRAI also expects that all industry and services associations will impress upon their members not to utilise the services of unregistered telemarketers.

 

In order to facilitate communication between agencies having commercial transactions with their clients, the Regulation provide for transactional messages to be exempt. Transactional messages are typically from banks/insurance companies or telecom service providers giving information relating to their customers’ accounts, or from airlines/railways to their passengers regarding flight/train schedules, or from educational institutions to the parents. Transactional messages will however be only in the form of SMSs and that too restricted to relevant information. Promotional content in transactional messages will not be permitted.

 

A separate numbering series 70XXXXXXXX will be allocated for telemarketers, so that all telemarketing calls can be easily identified. Any call that comes from any number beginning with 70 will be a commercial call and the customer has the choice of receiving or not receiving the call. Therefore, even a customer who chooses not to register at all, has a choice. Likewise, a unique SMS header has been mandated for easy identification of commercial SMSs.

 

The Regulations mandate that no commercial communication, even for unregistered customers, shall be sent between 9.00 PM to 9.00 AM, so as not to disturb the customers at night.

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dexter

Every service provider will lodge a compliant @ INTER OPERATOR UCC COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT PORTAL after the receipt of complaint against commercial call.

RTI applicants can get the details from the DoT to ascertain weather the complaint is lodged by the Operator or not and action has been initiated against the Telemarketer.

 

(there is guide for Service Providers. please refer that site for complete understanding)

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sharadphadke

Sharad,

Pls keep on "mail"ing your complaints of unsolicited calls to your provider (all the providers are supposed to have 3-level system to address subscribers' problems; if you don't have their mail-ids, check it on TRAI's website or your provider's site). May be one day, TRAI accepts that yes there's a penal clause, your provider will be giving you a lot of money ...:) :) :D

 

Now Idea want me to "FAX" me the complaint and not mail!!!

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