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Updated: August 5, 2010 23:54 IST

Operators may face action for telemarketing nuisance

Sandeep Joshi
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File photo of Communications and IT Minister A.Raja. An unsolicited tele-marketing call to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has prompted Telecom Ministry to take steps against such calls that “encroach” into the privacy of consumers.
File photo of Communications and IT Minister A.Raja. An unsolicited tele-marketing call to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has prompted Telecom Ministry to take steps against such calls that “encroach” into the privacy of consumers.

With unsolicited calls and messages from telemarketing companies fast becoming a menace, the government is mulling over immediate corrective measures, particularly taking a tough stance against mobile operators as it feels the onus lies on them.

Communications and IT Minister A. Raja has written a note to Telecom Secretary P.J. Thomas, asking him to seek a reply from the operators what action they have taken to stop this nuisance, which he termed “intrusion of privacy” of subscribers.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has also been trying to evolve some mechanism to stop unwanted telemarketing.

The issue has again come to the limelight with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressing displeasure as he himself got one such call on Monday when he was at a meeting with Opposition leaders. MPs cutting across party lines have also voiced their concern.

“A wide range of products and services is nowadays offered through telemarketing which results in inconvenience and disturbance to telecom consumers. These calls are made at any time of the day encroaching on the privacy of consumers,” Mr. Raja said in his note. Notably, the ‘Do Not Call Registry' implemented after the TRAI's recommendation has not worked fully, while the regulator is now considering bringing in “Do Call Registry” for those willing to accept telemarketing calls.

Talking to The Hindu, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said the onus of curbing unsolicited and unwarranted calls and SMS lay on operators. As they had the list of subscribers, they should be ready to face action. “People not only lose precious time, it also hurts them financially when they receive such calls while on national or international roaming. It is unfair for operators to allow such calls.”

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I am a Sr. citizen of 74 yrs and is at home most of the day. On many an occassion, particularly in the afternoon, I get repeated Tele Marketing calls from avrious companies. After a concerted effort and probably abuse by shouting at them, they dropped my No. from their list. Insurance Cos. Banks etc. are other organisers who call and disturb. They want to insure for life and also want to give loan of few lakhs. Only when I disclose my age they withdraw. This is a growing menace and the public should be protected from this at the earliest.

from:  P.P. Ravindran
Posted on: Aug 6, 2010 at 19:26 IST

I hope it will result in some positive action.

from:  Ranjit Kumar Chakravarty
Posted on: Aug 6, 2010 at 15:27 IST

Is there anything called wanted telemarketing?

from:  Ananda Kumar
Posted on: Aug 6, 2010 at 10:58 IST

It has become absoultely necessary to clamp down on this menance. Everyday, an average individual receives many such calls while driving or sleeping or for that matter when engaged in busy schedules. Since we all expect very important calls, it is not possible to ignore calls unless one is very sure that it is a marketing call. Hefty fines for such companies/mobile operators could be one way of controlling the menace.

from:  N.P. Unni
Posted on: Aug 6, 2010 at 04:00 IST

I'm a victim of unsolicited calls almost on an hourly basis. The word menace is hardly enough to describe it. What stings most is that usually the calls don't sell anything concrete that adds value to society. It's just plain insurance. It's free money for the firm, so they go to any extent to jack up the number of clients. It's sad that such blatant consumerist attitude has come about us, a country that begins its constitution with the word socialist. I'm not a socialist but such irritance - where no threat works, operators train their salesmen to argue against the DND registry clients - must go.

It simply MUST go.

from:  Mezdazzma
Posted on: Aug 6, 2010 at 01:35 IST
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