Even if a cellphone user lists his number on the National Do Not Call (NDNC) registry and the pesky telemarketing phone calls and SMSes actually stop, his woes may still be far from over.
Recently, a Mumbai resident received three pre-recorded promotional calls in the span of an hour. The difference here is that the calls peddled the telecom service provider's own value-added services such as caller tunes, ringtone downloads and missed call alert facility.
So, do NDNC registry regulations apply to promotional calls generated by content providers on behalf of service providers themselves? They do, says an official at the Trai. Service providers are not supposed to make promotional calls. If I get a pre-recorded message, it amounts to (such) a call.
The NDNC registry website defines unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) as any message, through telecommunications service, which is transmitted for the purpose of informing about, or soliciting or promoting any commercial transaction in relation to goods, investments or services which a subscriber opts not to receive.
However, the definition excludes any messages other than a promotional one relating to a service or financial transaction under a specific contract between the parties to such contract. In other words, if a call is over outstanding bills, it amounts to a service message. But if a call offers subscription to a new service, it falls under the UCC category.
Probably, it is time the telecom regulator further clarified the demarcation between "service" and promotional.
Consumers are advised to call their service provider's helplines to deactivate this "service". Fortunately, the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2008, notified on October 21, address this concern. They direct service providers who find that an unsolicited commercial communication originated from their own network to take action within 28 days from the day a complaint is filed. The consumer must then be intimated about the action taken.
Via ~ Indiatimes
Over to you now: Do you receive such "service" calls from your service provider/operator? What about SMS? Do you ever file a complaint?