Our heart goes out to telemarketers who may now find themselves on the streets. On Monday, the science fiction-sounding TRAI — which opens up more benignly as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India — sent out a notice that it would fine cellphone operators if they failed to act against those telemarketers who bug all consumers at all moments of the time. And it’s not some Rs 100-200 fine that will slapped on the mobile operators. First time round, if a consumer complains even after registering his number on the ‘Do-not-call-me’ list, the service provider will have to cough up up to Rs 5,000. For a second time complaint, the penalty could go up to one-fifth the price of a Nano — that is, Rs 20,000.
This is, of course, great news for harangued mobile users — some of whom who will immediately sign up on the very un-science fiction-sounding NDNCR, that is the National Do Not Call Registry, and will wait patiently for 45 days after which they will pounce on the telemarketer who dares to call him.
Which makes us come back to the poor, scared, lonely telemarketer who will now — hopefully — find it difficult to eke a living out of making cold calls. With politicians focused these days on the plight of farmers, the aam aadmi (or aurat) who wants to know whether you need a car loan, a credit card, a second credit card will not only have no one to talk to but will probably face penury and move on to some reckless enterprise. Like being on the other end to register you to the ‘Do-not-call-me’ list.