The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on unsolicited commercial communication (UCC). Currently the regulations covering telemarketers were issued by TRAI in 2010, called the "Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2010." However, TRAI has continued to receive several complaints related to telemarketing and felt the need to update the existing regulations.
The problems include continued calls from telemarketers even after disallowing them in the preferences. There are also automated calls, and calls from bots which users typically find more irritating than unsolicited calls from humans. Consumers have also requested for the availability of more granular choices for allowing some kinds of telemarketing calls. Customers have also demanded for a mechanism to authenticate the content of SMS messages received.
Consumers have complained about the lengthy process for taking action on complaints related to unsolicited commercial communications. Once a company obtains consent from the consumer for sending transactional messages, such consent is used in perpetuity. For example, a user may open an account at a bank, and then close it, but may continue to receive messages from the bank. The consultation has been issued to address these problems, and seeks feedback from stakeholders.
The questions posed by the consultation include approaches for making the current system for preference registration more robust, providing more granular options for preferences to the consumers, and ways to register entities such as content providers, aggregators and intermediaries. TRAI is also looking for ways in streamlining the registration mechanism, as well as reduce the time it takes to address complaints.
Comments and counter comments can be sent in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The last date for submitting comments is 12 October 2017, and the last date for submitting counter comments is 26 October 2017. TRAI may extend the deadlines for comments and counter comments if stakeholders make a request. The complete text of the consultation is available on the TRAI website (PDF).