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Complaints about pesky calls, SMSes drop over 80%

Steps taken by authorities to rein in pesky calls and SMSes seem to be bearing fruit with the average number of complaints received per month regarding such unsolicited communications coming down by over 80% in the ongoing financial year.

According to data shared by the Department of Telecom (DoT), the number of complaints for unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) stood at 58,446 complaints in 2014-15 fiscal (upto October 31) or an average 5,845 complaints/month.

In 2013-14 fiscal, the number of such complaints stood at 3,97,772, which comes to an average 33,147 complaints/month.

This is an over 80% drop in the the monthly average of such complaints.

In 2012-13 fiscal, there were a total 4,27,041 such complaints, which comes to an average 35,588 complaints/month.

Pesky calls and text messages had become rampant as unregistered telemarketers disturbed consumers with different offers, compelling authorities to take many strong initiatives to curb this menace.

The number of UCC complaints stood at 83,003 in 2011-12 (September 27, 2011 to March 31, 2012), the data shows.

The DoT said sectoral regulator Trai has taken a number of steps to curb pesky communications.

The regulator had laid down the framework for controlling UCC through the ‘Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010’.

These regulations prohibit sending of UCC by telemarketers to consumers, who have registered their numbers in the national customer preference register (NCPR) for not receiving UCC.

In accordance with regulations, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has been imposing financial disincentive on telecom operators if they violate the provisions of UCC.

“Trai has imposed financial disincentives on 13 companies for Rs 27.46 crore for not adhering to the guidelines,” DoT said.

The DoT said Trai reviews the UCC guidelines from time to time to further tighten the regulatory framework.

“It has been observed from data and action taken in past years, that there is a decrease in numbers of complaints regarding UCC,” DoT said.

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