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How to stop unwanted sales calls

Subscribers and consumer advocacy groups have long been complaining about unsolicited calls. Telecom regulatory authority of India had come up with directives to curb this by setting up a registry for telephone owners called the Do-Not-Call list or DNCL

Pooja Gawde

14 Aug 2007

Some of us have slammed the phone on them. Some of us have tried chatting up the sweet voice on the other side. Most of us have been polite to them despite the annoyance. Friends, now we get a chance to get back at them and stop the pesky telemarketers from calling at the most unsuitable of times. With ample help from no less than the Supreme Court of India.

What you need to do is to register yourself at a toll-free number, which will be provided by your telephone service provider, and get your number on the National Do Not Call registry or NDNC. The register will remain open from August 2, and the guidelines come into force from September 5 as promised by the government to the Supreme Court on 27 July, 2007.

Telephone subscribers who do not wish to be called by telemarketers can register their mobile, home and office numbers with the registry. It has also been made mandatory for all telemarketing companies to register themselves with the NDNC and remove the telephone numbers registered there from their calling list.

After the registry goes live on September 5, any telemarketer found making unsolicited calls to mobile phone users would be fined Rs 500 per call or message. The defaulting telemarketers will also face disconnection of their telecom service.

The telecom regulator has also approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) to ensure that banks do not engage telemarketers who are not registered with NDNC and Department of Telecom (DoT). All telemarketers need to get registered with department of telecom before August 31, 2007.

What is a Do-Not-Call list?

Subscribers and consumer advocacy groups have long been complaining about unsolicited calls. Telecom regulatory authority of India had come up with directives to curb this by setting up a registry for telephone owners called the Do-Not-Call list or DNCL, based on the one adopted by United States in 2003.

Based on these directives, the DoT issued guidelines for registration of telemarketers to curb unsolicited commercial calls. The DoT authorised the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to set up a "National Do Not Call" (NDNC) registry. A German fixed and mobile solutions-provider was identified by the NIC to provide a solution that would comply with the TRAI recommendations. It is a centralized, server-based solution, which integrates into the operator's existing infrastructure footprint, automatically blocking the telemarketer's call to a registered number.

DNCL and you

Once you are registered with the NDNC registry, telemarketers will have to verify their calling telephone numbers list with the NDNC registry before they call you. In accordance with the TRAI directives, your telephone bill will have details of a nodal officer who will be empowered to settle grievances.   

DNCL and telemarketers

After August 31, service providers should not provide telecom resources and must discontinue supply to unregistered telemarketing operators. Telemarketers are expected to follow the regulations issued by DoT on Unsolicited Commercial Communications.

Detailed guidelines for registration and the form of 'Telemarketer' along with instructions to the service providers and procedure of registration of telemarketer are available on the DoT website, www.dot.gov.in . Click here for more of such interesting articles.