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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Pesky calls: TRAI cracks down, telcos to be fined

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 22, 2013
First Published: 21:13 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:17 IST(22/8/2013)

Still getting pesky calls? Your telecom operator will have to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000 per instance if you lodge a complaint for pesky calls and SMSes.
 
In order to curb unwanted commercial calls (UCC) and SMSes, the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday announced new regulations that also penalise advertisers such as banks, insurance firms and realty players that use unregistered tele-marketers. All their  telephone numbers and broadband connections provided by any operator would be disconnected in such cases.

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The regulator has given 15 days to the operators to implement the new regulations.

“If on verification of a complaint it is found that the UCC has been sent by a subscriber who is not registered as a telemarketer, the service provider shall be liable to pay financial disincentives of Rs. 5,000 on each complaint,” said the regulator.

Incumbent telcos have welcomed the new regulations. “The new regulations will curb UCC as now the responsibility is fixed with operators,” said an official of an old GSM provider.

“In cases where the UCC contains reference to another telephone number or an entity such as banks, insurance companies, builders, for which the commercial transaction has been solicited, the telecom resources issued to the subscriber/entity for which commercial transaction has been solicited, shall be disconnected across all service providers on receipt of a complaint, after serving notices each on the first and the second complaint,” TRAI said.

Service providers will have to submit by 15th of every month, to TRAI the list of all bulk connections provided during the preceding month. This will help in verification of a complaint.


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