Days before rules to stop irritating calls from predictive dialers and SMSes start in New Delhi, telemarketing firms are sending messages to cellular subscribers to remove their numbers from the “Do-not-call registry-,” a press release revealed.
Last year, Telecom regulator Trai isssued guidelines that will finally offer solace to mobile users to silence unsolicited calls/SMSes, and the rules will begin being enforced starting March 1.
Currently, mobile customers are getting messages sent directly to their cell phones from telemarketing firms saying, "Your number is in the Do Not Call Registry. Your account setting does not allow us to call you to provide services. So please send a request to your operator to delete your number from the Do Not Call Registry."
Trai provided a set of guidelines in case the new rules are broken, the telemarketers would have to pay a fine of $554 (Rs 25,000) for the first offense. It would go up to $1,662 (Rs 75,000) in case of the second violation, $ 1,773 (Rs 80,000) for the third, $2,770 (Rs 1.25 lakh) for the fourth, $3,324 (Rs 1.50 lakh) for the fifth, and $ 5, 540 (Rs 2.5 lakh )for the sixth offense.
"I am getting a number of messages every day from various telemarketing firms to cancel my number from the “Do Not Call Registry-," a customer said.
Under the new rules, subscribers can pick the 'Fully Blocked' category, which is just like the ‘Do Not Call Registry’-, or instead opt- in for the “Partially Blocked” category, which basically means they will receive only SMSes for the selected categories they choose.
If an unregistered subscriber makes unsolicited calls, he/she will be warned for committing the offense only the first time. After committing the offense for the second time, the telephone number will be disconnected.
Customers already opting to be on the- 'National Do Not Call Registry'- will continue under the 'Fully Blocked' category and need no additional registration.
SpitFire’s predictive dialer is a computer based dialing system that quickly places outbound calls using database interaction with special telephone cards that connect to a variety of communication and telephone lines. The configuration and the amount of Live Agents determines how many calls the Predictive Dialer places per hour.
The predictive dialer system works by placing outbound calls from a pre-loaded database list of numbers on a single line or multiple line cards.
These databases are already free of numbers on the “Do-not-call” federal data set when your list you’re going to call is imported. The registry is fully managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency. It is enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)), and state officials.
Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jamie Epstein