Trai to take tough steps to curb pesky calls: Khullar
New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai on Thursday said it will take tough measures within a few days to curb the menace of unsolicited communications.
"In the next few days, tough measures will be taken," Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said after meeting top industry officials here on the issue.
He said stringent action will also be taken against unregistered telemarketers.
Despite repeated attempts to check pesky calls and SMSes, consumers have received little relief.
Khullar met chief executives of all the mobile operators and discussed the issue of pesky communications, along with value added services (VAS) that get activated without request from customers.
Trai came up with the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations in December 2010, and nine amendments have been made to it, but there has been little respite to consumers.
Trai has also written to companies in whose name unsolicited communication were made but it did not receive any response from them, he said.
Khullar said he has conveyed to operators to put in place within 10-15 days the mechanism mandated by Trai for the initiation of VAS.
As per Trai norms, telecom operators need to obtain explicit consent of consumers "through consumer originated SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within 24 hrs of activation of the value added service and charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him" for subscribing it.
As per the rule, operators have to take consent of subscribers before activating any VAS and deactivate it without charging for it if no consent is received from them.
Mobile operators were supposed to meet these guidelines by February 2 this year. The operators did come out with a number 155223 on which consumers can call and get their services deactivated.
Under the rules, telecom operators will have to refund the amount charged for such activation of services if consumers inform about them within 24 hours on this common number.
Subscribers who have been using any VAS beyond 24 hours can also request for deactivation of the service on this number. Telecom operators will have to deactivate the service within four hours of the call but the customer will not be eligible to claim refund in such cases.
Without naming any particular company, the Trai Chairman said only two operators have complied to the rules.
The Trai meeting was attended by Airtel Joint MD and CEO Gopal Vittal, BSNL CMD R K Upadhyay, Vodafone India CEO Marten Pieters, Sistema Shyam (MTS India) President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov, Videocon CEO Arvind Bali, MTNL CMD A K Garg, Reliance Communication's head of Corporate Affairs C S Rao among others.