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Pesky calls: Govt seeks compliance report

india Updated: Sep 25, 2008 19:37 IST
PTI
Govt seeks compliance report from telcos on pesky calls

The Department of Telecom has directed all service providers to comply with the regulations on pesky calls and discontinue the phone connections of non-registered tele-marketing companies by October 19.

The operators shall not provide or discontinue to provide telecom resources to non-registered telemarketing companies and in this regard all licencees are required to ensure that the directive is complied with, a DoT letter said.

A compliance report in the matter must be submitted within a month of issue of this directive, DoT said. The letter was issued on September 19.

RBI last week had asked the banks and their associates not to engage unregistered telemarketers, a move that is expected to reduce the number of unsolicited calls.

DoT has also asked operators to publicise the facility of 'National Do Not Call Registry' among the general public. The slogan for it, DoT said, is "To avoid unwanted telemarketing calls, register your telephone number in NDNC Regsitry--call 1909 or send SMS 'START DND on 1909".

In fact, with complaints against ineffectiveness of the National Do Not Call Registry' rising, the DoT is now mulling over turning it into 'Do Call Registry' (DCR).

This implies that subscribers enlist themselves if they wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls, just opposite to the erstwhile process of subscribers registering in case they did not wish to take unwanted calls.

The existing registry, which became operational last October, has around 9 million mobile subscribers enlisted. There have been increasing complaints that unsolicited telemarketing calls persist, despite putting the mechanism in place.

This message should be on all telephone bills, recharge coupons and websites of service providers as well as hoardings.

RBI had said "Banks should ensure that only those DMAs/DSAs, who are registered as telemarketers with DoT, are employed by them," RBI had said in a communication to all commercial banks.

RBI has issued the notification pursuant to a Supreme Court order in which it was held that any telemarketer, who is not registered with the Telecom Department, should not be allowed to operate the such services.

The banking regulator further warned that employment of unregistered telemarketers by the banks would be treated as a violation of the Supreme Court order.

Earlier, referring to the apex court order, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had also told RBI that only DoT-registered telemarketers should be appointed as direct marketing associates.