TRAI has promised tough action against unregistered telemarketers with an aim to curb the nuisance of unwanted phone calls. As per the new set of guidelines, TRAI said if it receives a complaint against a pesky call/SMS, the originating access provider will deprive such a subscriber of all the telecom resources within 24 hours after investigation.
Not only this, originating access provider will also blacklist such a subscriber for a period of two years and maintain separate records for this. “Once entered in the blacklist, all access providers shall disconnect the telecom resources provided to such a subscriber within twenty-four hour,” said TRAI.
Also, no access provider will reissue telecom resources to the blacklisted subscribers for a period of two years.
According to TRAI rules, the telecom operators need to first obtain clear approval from their consumers for subscribing to a VAS “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,” explains TRAI.
Following this rule, telecom operators need to obtain subscribers’ consent before activating or deactivating any VAS. The operator cannot charge for it if the customer doesn’t provide any consent for the same.
Though TRAI had set 2 February as the deadline to meet these guidelines, but telecom operators failed to come up with a number 155223 where consumers can call and get their services deactivated. As per the rules, it becomes telecom operators’ responsibility to refund the amount charged for activation of services if consumers inform them within 24 hours on this number.
Though subscribers using any VAS for more than 24 hours can also submit their request for deactivating a service by calling on this number, but they cannot claim the refund. However, the telecom operators need to deactivate the service within four hours of receiving the call on this number.