Pesky SMSes back in the mask of transactional SMSes

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 15:13

New Delhi: With the government imposing restriction on pesky SMS, telemarketers have found transactional SMS, such as banking transaction and flight schedule alerts, as a safe and cheap mode of sending the promotional messages.

Telecom resources of some telemarketing companies are learnt to have been sending promotional SMSes in the guise of genuine transactional SMSes, thus saving a charge of 5 paise that is levied on each promotional SMS as per government regulation.

As per the regulation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, companies can send transactional SMS for bank transactions made, flight schedule and other such information which is directly related to clients even on numbers registered in the National Customer Preference Register (modified 'Do Not Call register').

The regulator has imposed 5 paise charge on each SMS sent for promotional activity. The id used for sending a transactional SMS is in English alphabets while numeral are used as id for sending a promotional SMS.

"By sending promotional SMS using transactional id, companies save 5 paise per SMS and lakhs of such SMS are sent daily," an industry source said.

Some of the vendors using telecom resource of Aircel and Loop Mobile have been noticed for sending promotional SMS by using alphabetical id which is meant for transactional SMS.

When contacted, the Aircel spokesperson said that the company in an internal query found that such SMS was sent by mistake by one of the vendor and the warning has been issued to him.

Loop Mobile did not offer any comment.

An industry source informed that these kinds of SMSes are being sent by telemarketers (SMS aggregators) who have even signed code-of-conduct for ethical practice. "Irony is that some of companies that have pledged to promote ethical practices in industry are doing it," the source said.

The source alleged that such malpractice is across the industry but major concern is the people who have pledged for promoting good practices but indulged in the wrong act.

In January, seven companies including SMS marketing companies ACL-wireless, Air2web, Netcore, Pinnacle Teleservices, SMS Gupshup, Unicel technologies and ValueFirst signed Code of Conduct under the aegis of Internet and Mobile Association of India to provide transparent and effective services to customers and users.

Different industry sources named Air2Web, ValueFirst, Unicel and SMS Gupshup whose telecom resources have been misused.


First Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 15:13
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