Are you fed up with unsolicited commercial calls asking you to invest in some holiday club or take a retirement pension plan of an insurance company? Now there will be a major relief for all those who get such calls with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India prescribing some deterrent punishment for such calls.

The TRAI recently issued The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (12th Amendment) Regulations, 2013, prescribing further measures to tighten the framework for controlling the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC).

The Do Not Disturb Register did curb such calls for some extent for it became defunct or ineffective leaving the subscribers in a mess as far as getting a solution or protection from such agencies, says former District Consumer Forum member P.V.V. Murthy. While welcoming the recommendation, Mr. Murthy points out that the TRAI is a toothless agency and implementation remains to be seen so that it becomes an effective alternative.

Jurisdiction

The District, State and National Consumer Forum will remain to be alternative forums for seeking justice and this new provision will an additional facility, he says. If the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum is taken away, this new amendment will not be effective as the TRAI does not concentrate on the problems of consumers alone and it is more of a regulatory body to monitor and regulate the functioning of the service providers.

As per the Section 7 of the Consumer Protection Act, barring jurisdiction of civil courts in some areas has led to stronger consumer rights movements, he says giving the example of Chit Fund Registrar who controls the complaints against Chit Fund, Kitties, etc. As per the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Twelfth Amendment) Regulations, 2013, provision under it comes into force with immediate effect. The name and address of such subscriber shall be blacklisted for two years and all Access Providers shall disconnect the telecom resources within 24 hours. The regulations will further tighten the regulatory framework for those indulging in telemarketing activities, deliberately masquerading themselves, without registering as a telemarketer with the TRAI. These subscribers indulge in such activities without paying promotional SMS charge or any other charges (or deposits) as may be payable by registered telemarketers.

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