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5.89 Lakh Unregistered Telemarketers Blacklisted Since 2011 For Pesky Calls: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Telecom resources of 18.19 lakh unregistered telemarketers have been disconnected and 5.8 lakh were blacklisted by service providers since 2011 following consumer complaints on pesky telemarketing calls, Parliament was informed on July 17.

Further, a penalty of Rs 4.16 crore was deducted from the security deposit of registered telemarketers and deposited with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Further, 16 “registered telemarketers” have been blacklisted.

Complaints received by service providers from customers on receipt of such unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) stood at 79,830 in May 2019 (both unregistered and registered telemarketers), 98,144 (April 2019), 1.08 lakh (March 2019), 1.05 lakh (February 2019), and 1.11 lakh (January 2019).

“From the above analysis of the complaints received by service providers, it is seen that the number of complaints relating to UCC has declined during the current year,” the minister said.

To address the menace of UCC effectively, Trai had reviewed the framework and laid down a revised architecture in July last year through the ‘Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018’. These regulations are under implementation and have paved the way for effective control of UCC, he said.

“Since September 2011, based on consumer complaints, the service providers have so far disconnected telecom resources of 18,19,470 unregistered telemarketers and blacklisted 5,89,589 such unregistered telemarketers… Further, 16 registered telemarketers were blacklisted,” Prasad said.

Trai itself has received 155 complaints up to July 10, 2019, including 70 (Airtel), 67 (Vodafone), and 11 (Reliance Jio).

According to the regulations, a customer, who has registered his telephone number for not receiving telemarketing calls, can make a complaint about such calls to his service provider. The service provider from whose network the pesky call had originated has to act on the complaint as per the regulations.

“However, some of the consumers have also made complaints to Trai. Since as per the regulations, the service providers have to take action on complaints, the same are forwarded to the service providers for necessary action,” Prasad said.―Money Control

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