Sectoral regulator TRAI has notified that phones disconnected for sending pesky communications could be restored on payment of Rs 500 per connection, a move that will bring relief to telemarketers.
In a bid to check pesky calls, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had last year approved disconnection of their phones if rules of unwanted calls and messages were flouted by them, or on their behalf.
TRAI in a notification said if a subscriber, whose telecom resources have been disconnected for contravention of the regulations, makes a request within thirty days, the Authority may order restoration of resources on payment of Rs 500 per connection, but the total amount should not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
The resources, however, will be restored if the subscriber has taken reasonable steps to prevent recurrence of such contravention and satisfies the Authority, TRAI added.
In August last year, TRAI had ordered disconnection of the phones, after second notice, of entities on whose behalf commercial transactions had been solicited.
The Authority had noted the continued problem faced by customers receiving unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) from persons who are not registered as telemarketers.
TRAI had noted such persons deliberately masquerade as normal subscribers for engaging in telemarketing activities.
“In cases where the UCC contains reference to another telephone number or an entity such as banks, insurance companies, builders for which the commercial transaction has been solicited, the telecom resources issued to the subscriber /entity for which commercial transaction has been solicited, shall be disconnected across all service providers...” TRAI had said.
TRAI said some of the entities had approached it requesting for re-connection and in cases where the Authority was satisfied with the measures taken by them, it had ordered reconnection.
However, the Authority said there should be further deterrent against misuse of “telecom resources” for soliciting business apart from meeting administration costs.
The Authority then proposed to levy a reconnection charge of Rs 500 per telecom resource, subject to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh from these entities and sought comments from the stakeholders.
TRAI said 12 stakeholders, including seven telecom operators and two insurance companies, sent their comments and most of them were in favour of levying a charge for reconnection of resources.