Telemarketers take to WhatsApp for bulk messages: Report


In late 2011, TRAI had set out new rules to do away with pesky telemarketing calls and SMSes. It had placed a cap of 200 SMS/day to limit annoying messages. Looks like, telemarketers are finding newer ways to reach out to audiences. According to a report by The Economic Times, a software professional from Gurgaon got a WhatsApp message offering him 50 percent discount on food and drinks in about 200 restaurants. In fact, a month before he had received a similar message offering discount from a spa.

 

Now, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging service in India with over 50 million active users in the country, and over 500 million across the world. Owing to its popularity, it’s quite likely to be targeted by telemarketers. Unlike SMS, there are no rules or guidelines for sending messages on WhatsApp in India. However, sending bulk messages does violate WhatsApp's policy, states the report.

 

We also came across a tweet from a user who has been getting telemarketing messages on WhatsApp. Take a look at the tweet below:

 

 

The report further points out that a Delhi-based Elion Technologies & Consulting Pvt Ltd "is featured on a few online business-listing websites as a provider of bulk messages on Whatsapp". The company representative told the news site that customers can opt for messging plans that start at 10,000 messages priced at 30 paise each (excluding taxes). It also provides further discount for huge orders. The company reportedly also sells video and audio messages, and virtual visiting cards.
A WhatsApp spokesperson reportedly said that sending unsolicited messages in bulk violates WhatsApp's terms of service and people doing so can be banned from using the service. The spokesperson further claimed to have taken legal action against such companies in the past.


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