How do we protect from unwanted telephone calls made by business establishments for their commercial purpose? In our daily life, we often get telephone calls from friends, relative, colleagues or somebody else. We own a phone connection for it and we do the same when situation comes.
On the other hand, because of our mobile we kept always with us, any business people can connect us if just they have collected our phone number. When you attend a marriage party, there you are getting a call informing of a promotional campaign is going on now, only for a few days!! Just spend a few hundreds and you may get some thousands in return. Most of us hate such irritating calls when you are in a different mood.
In another situation, you may have experienced sometimes, strange calls from one of the famous insurance company saying that they have fantastic insurance plan to choose from for your benefit. If you purchase a policy today, you will get your investment double within next one year in addition to insurance coverage.
All these examples, frankly we doesn't like at all but some has owned our mobile number. TRAI has regulation to knot this kind of unwanted calls. Here is the good news for phone subscribers:
1. TRAI Complaint Reports Mechanism
The complaint against receipt of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) can be lodged by dialing 1909 or sending SMS to 1909. The lodging of a UCC complaint can be lodged through SMS by simply forwarding the UCC SMS to 1909 after appending the telephone number and date of receipt of the SMS. All Access Service Providers have also established a web-based complaint registering system and a dedicated e-mail address to receive such complaints on UCC.
2. Register yourself as a Telemarketer, If you want to make commercial calls
Register yourself as a Telemarketer for telemarketing purposes. You can register yourself as a telemarketer with TRAI online through website www.nccptrai.gov.in. All telemarketer would be allotted separate number series for voice calls starting with ‘140’.
3. Blacklisting of unregistered Telemarketer
No Commercial call or SMS is allowed through normal telephone number. If you make an Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC) from your mobile, all Telecom Resources will be disconnected in your name and your name will be entered into a Black-list and you will not get any resources for the next 2 years from any service provider.
4. Disconnection of the entity for whom telemarketing is being carried out
If telemarketing activity is carried out through unregistered telemarketer, the firm benefiting will be liable for disconnection of its telecom resources.
5. Do not respond to messages like winning lottery, prizes etc. These messages could be with the intention of cheating.
What Are The Regulations Do We Have to Protect Telecom Consumers in India?
In India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the regulator of the telecom sector. TRAI's "Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations" given below:
The Start-up Kit (SUK) – provided at the time of new connection:
SIM card, Mobile Number, Type of connection, Customer Care Number, General Information Number, Telecom Customer’s Charter and process for deactivation due to non-image.
- Plan Voucher: Enrolls you into a tariff plan adds no amount in rupees to your account can be identified be red colour band on it.
- Top up Voucher: Used for adding amount in rupees to your account without any restriction of validity period or usage. It shows MRP processing fee, applicable tax and net available value to consumer. It can be identified by green colour band on it.
- Special Tariff Voucher: It is a rate cutter to an applicable tariff in a plan with maximum validity of ninety days. It will not affect the monetary value available in your account. It can be identified by yellow colour band on it.
- Combo Voucher: It alters one or more items of tariff for a period of maximum ninety days, and adds monetary value to the prepaid account. Identified by blue colour band on it. It is a combination of STV and top up voucher.
“Vouchers with MRP of Rs 10 and multiples can be offered only for top up voucher”
TRAI brings more transparency to consumers
- On activation of Vouchers: Immediately on activation of vouchers, get SMS with complete features of the voucher.
- Relating to usage: You will get an SMS informing usage details of call or data, charges deducted and balance in account after every call, data session, and activation of any service or VAS.
- Prepaid customers can obtain itemized usage details on request by paying a reasonable fee (max Rs 50/-) for preceding six months.
- Value added services: On activation you will be informed through SMS about validity period, charges for renewal and procedure to unsubscribe.
- Deactivation of SIM due to non usage:
- The mobile connections of prepaid consumers can be deactivated for non-usage after 90 days in case the balance in prepaid consumer account is less than Rs 20/-.
- An ‘Automatic Number Retention Scheme’ for prepaid consumers on deduction of Rs 20/- (maximum) per month.
- A consumer whose connection is deactivated shall be given a grace period of 15 days within which he can reactivate the same number.
There is also a 'State Custody Scheme' for post paid consumers on payment of Rs 150/- (maximum) per three months. Such consumers with not be required to pay monthly rental during the period of safe custody.
Another Helpful Regulation from TRAI: Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations
Complaints and Appeals can be registered at complaint centre by-
- Dialing Customer Care Number (toll free)
- Post or
- In person
Status of complaint can be tracked at www.tccms.gov.in or at the website of your service provider using the unique docket number of the complaint communicated to you by SMS.
Action taken on the complaint will be informed by SMS/ e-mail/ post.
If you are not satisfied with the action taken, you may appeal to the Appellate Authority.