The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) latest policy on blocking spam messages will come as a breath of fresh air to most cell phone users in the city. Scheduled to come into effect on September 27, TRAI will convert the existing Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) to the National Customer Preference Registry (NCPR), and those subscribing to it will get relief from all unsolicited promotional calls and text messages.
Currently, mobile service providers offer Do Not Disturb (DND) services to customers. Depending on the carrier in question, you simply need to send an SMS requesting activation of the service. Still, it takes anything from 30-45 days before the mobile number is listed in the National Do Not Call Registry. And to add insult to injury, it has made no difference to customers, some of whom have begun receiving more spam text messages on their cell phones than ever before.
Such unsolicited text messages are either in the form of random codes authorised by the service provider, or from other mobile numbers. Some of more common SMS codes include Dr Batra, Dominos, Sahara and Big Bazaar.
Jamshed Avari, deputy editor, CHIP magazine, says, “I’ve tried registering for DND for over a year. I used to get responses saying it will happen, but it hasn’t. My service provider’s website lets you check if your number is listed in the DND list; but mine isn’t.”
Music professional Mazher Ramzanali adds, “I get around 10 random messages on my Vodafone number everyday despite being registered on the DND list. Some are not even mobile numbers, but random codes. When I complained to Vodafone, they asked me to report the details and fill a form, which is ridiculous. I’m not going to call them up and fill a form each time I get a spam SMS.”
Kshirsagar Rao, freelance assistant director mentions, “As outrageous as it sounds, I'm, in fact, receiving more spam after registering on full DND with Vodafone.”
Unregistered users too
TRAI’s new policy promises that even unregistered customers won’t receive any commercial communication between 9 pm and 9 am.
Furthermore, subscribers can choose from ‘fully blocked’ for zero communication and ‘partially blocked’, where they can filter the type of promotional correspondence according to categories that comprise banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, and tourism and leisure.