I used to get unwanted phone calls and SMS messages on my Vodafone mobile number. When I complained they asked me to register for Do Not Disturb (DND), Now that I have registered for DND I still get many unwanted phone calls and SMS from banks, insurance companies, builders and what not. Nothing much happens on complaints also. How can this problem be solved because there is a lot of disturbance when one is in important work.
Unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) or the unwanted calls from marketers is a serious problem, which appears to have no satisfactory solution.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) operates a Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal, which is available here.
As per this website, a customer who has registered for not receiving unsolicited commercial communications (UCC), also commonly called DND (Do Not Disturb), on receipt of an unwanted call or SMS, he can register a complaint with his service provider within 3 days of receipt of such UCC by dialing or sending SMS to 1909. Customers will have to provide the telephone number or header of the message from where the call or message has been received, short description of such call or message along with the date of receipt of call or message.
For complaint through SMS, customer has to send SMS “the unsolicited commercial communication, XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy” to 1909. Where XXXXXXXXXX – is the telephone number or header of the SMS, from which the UCC has originated. The telephone number or header and the date of receipt of the unsolicited commercial SMS may be appended with such SMS, while forwarding to 1909, with or without space after comma.
It is laid down that the Service Provider will take action on complaint and inform the complainant within 7 days of lodging of complaint. Customers may check registration status of his complaint through the link “UCC Complaint Registration Status“.
However, the system does not work perfectly. And, in spite of DND registration and making repeated complaints, such unwanted calls and SMS continue unabated. The Government and TRAI are ineffective in this regard.
However, it is necessary that the affected persons should keep filing complaints about having received unsolicited calls. My experience with filing complaints has been that on most of the occasions, the number from which UCC is received, is disconnected if you file the complaint (I have personally filed many such complaints and the results were generally encouraging). The problem is that most people simply ignore the call and do not report such phone numbers by lodging the complaints. If most of the crores of phone users start lodging complaints, the collective effort will ensure that this problem may be solved substantially.
Perhaps, some public spirited citizen or NGO may also have to file a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court after a thorough study of the problem and suggesting solutions to improve the system. But, the solutions need to be technically possible.
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