Grandma's Tales

January 16, 2007

Can this be true? A do-not-call register!

Filed under: Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:45 pm

Finally, finally, a lady went to the consumer commission with the complaint (and probably proof) that she was getting unsolicited calls from banks and service providers. She wanted the menace stopped. The commission has slapped fines on the parties accused of making/originating the calls, which, significantly, may not go to the complainant at all. Anyway, read the story.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has initiated a consultation process with the aim of reducing the bulk of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).
UCC includes telemarketing calls, SMS or other commercial or marketing messages.
The TRAI proposes to set up a national do-not-call register that allows subscribers to specify that they do not want telemarketers to call them. If a telemarketer makes a call to a person listed on the do-not-call register, they will face a significant fine. “The aversion of many subscribers towards invasion of privacy and the nuisance of telemarketing has found expression in different forums. Over the past year, commercial unsolicited calls have engaged the time and attention of the Rajya Sabha, the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court, the Reserve Bank of India and the State Commission (Consumer) of Delhi,” said a TRAI release.
“Further, the authority has received numerous subscriber and consumer complaints about unsolicited calls and SMS. There have been attempts to resolve this problem, but the current solutions are fragmented and have not been comprehensive.”
Many countries including the US, have implemented mechanisms to reduce UCC.
TRAI said that its intention was not to ban telemarketing activity in itself but to reduce the number of telemarketing calls to people who do not wish to receive them.
“Indeed, the telemarketing industry will benefit from this move because it will reduce the number of calls they will need to make to reach interested potential customers.”
The telecom regulator has sought public comments on who should be responsible for stopping telemarketing calls – the service providers or telemarketers – and what kind of penalties should be imposed on do-not-call violators.

Interesting. Will the telemarketing calls stop? Not likely. Once you make a list of people you do not want to hear from, will you stop hearing from them? If the spam you get is anything to go by, again, not likely. The said company will come back in disguise to offer “unresistable” deals. The names will change, but not what you will hear. It is possible though, if the intention and enforcement are strong, the number of calls that totally synch you out might decrease a bit.
I told my husband – he’s the darling of the women telemarketing agents – that his afternoons might be relatively free once the register became operational.
“What?” he said, his voice sounding strange. “I have a whale of a time answering those calls. I would listen to their prattle and tell them how exactly the scheme would fail. That is, if they went about it honestly. Why would I want to stop those calls?”


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