The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be initiating action against Idea Cellular for not implementing the UCC SMS complaint lodging module, it has stated officially. TRAI's run against pesky calls and SMSes isn’t unheard of, and has been on since a while now. In this respet, the TRAI had issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Tenth Amendment Regulations, 2012” on November 5, 2012 prescribing further measures to tighten the framework for controlling the menace of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).
The TRAI had facilitated the option to lodge UCC complaints via SMS, by forwarding the UCC SMS to 1909 alon with the telephone number/SMS header and date of receipt of SMS. TRAI, however, found by way of numerous complaints that some of the access providers have not implemented the revised procedure for loding UCC complaints by forwarding an SMS. Interestingly, a compliance was sought in this regard from the access providers, and it turned out that all the access providers implemented the revised procedure, barring M/s Idea Cellular Ltd. The TRAI has therefore initated action against the Access Provider.
Idea found not implementing UCC SMS (Image credit: Getty Images)
When Rahul Khullar, the Chairman of TRAI, was quizzed on the issue of pesky SMSes, he had assured that something would be done by November 5. Sure enough, TRAI released the 'The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Tenth Amendment) Regulations, 2012', and Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Fourth Amendment) Order, 2012' in an attempt to better address the niggling issue of unsolicited SMSes. TRAI’s amended regulations aimed at “tightening the framework” pertaining to addressing the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), especially relating to commercial SMSes from unregistered telemarketers.
TRAI acknowledged that concessional SMS packs and tariff plans offered by service providers to bulk SMS users are being misused by unregistered telemarketers for sending promotional SMSes to customers. Now, the body has placed a price restraint on the number of SMSes sent at a concessional rate. A customer can send up to 100 SMSes per day, per SIM card at the concessional rate. Anyone who crosses the 100 SMS limit will be charged a minimum of 50 paisa more for every subsequent SMS.
Elaborating upon the UCC SMS system, TRAI had earlier shared that it is now easier to file a UCC complaint through SMS. The UCC SMS has to be forwarded to the number 1909, along with the mobile number and date of receipt of the unsolicited SMS. In addition, ASPs are required to set up a web-based complaint registration system and a dedicated e-mail address to receive such complaints on UCC.
Interestingly, ASPs have been directed to send SMSes to all customers periodically, advising them against sending commercial communications while also informing them about its consequences. “Whenever a new customer is enrolled for service, the Access Provider is required to take an undertaking from such customer in the Customer Acquisition Form that he shall not use the connection for telemarketing purpose and in case he uses the connection for telemarketing purposes such connection shall be liable to be disconnected,” TRAI stated further.
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