Days before rules to curb pesky calls and SMSes take effect, telemarketing firms are sending messages to cellular subscribers to remove their numbers from the 'Do-not-call registry'.
Telecom regulator Trai released guidelines last year to provide relief to mobile users from unsolicited calls/SMSes, and the rules are to be implemented from March 1.
Now, mobile customers are receiving messages from telemarketing firms saying, "Your number is in Do Not Call Registry. Your account setting allow us not to call you to provide services. So please send request to your operator for cancelling your number from the Do Not Call Registry."
Trai proposed that in case of violations, as per the revised guidelines, the telemarketers would have to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 for the first offence. It would go up to Rs 75,000 in case of the second violation, Rs 80,000 for the third, Rs 1.25 lakh for the fourth, Rs 1.50 lakh for the fifth and Rs 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence.
After that the number will be blocked by all service providers.
"I am getting a number of messages every day from various telemarketing firms to cancel my number from the Do Not Call Registry," said a customer.
Under the new rules, subscribers may choose the 'Fully Blocked' category, which is akin to 'Do Not Call Registry', or opt for the 'Partially Blocked' category, in which case they will receive only SMSes for the categories they choose.
If an unregistered ordinary subscriber makes unsolicited commercial communication, he/she will be warned for committing the offence for the first time. On committing the offence for the second time, his/her telephone will be disconnected.
Customers already on the 'National Do Not Call Registry' will continue under the 'Fully Blocked' category and need no re-registration.
DoT, on a suggestion from Trai on January 31, 2011, issued '140' series for this purpose and restricted it for use of mobile phone service of telemarketers.