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Feb 1: How to stop pesky calls and SMSes
New Delhi, JAN 31 (AGENCIES):
Published on 1 Feb. 2011 1:01 AM IST
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Don't want to be annoyed by unwanted commercial calls and SMSes? Here's all that you should know about Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) new regulations to give your mobile phone a little rest.
The new guidelines set by TRAI is supposed to be effective on February 1, 2011. The initial deadline of January 1 was extended by a month.
A new set of guidelines became necessary due to the limited success of TRAI's earlier initiatives. The National Do Not Call Registry was somewhat effective in reducing the number of unsolicited calls but indirectly led to an increase in the number of unsolicited SMSes landing in consumers' inboxes.
Under the new guidelines consumers can choose their preference to receive or not to receive commercial communication from seven pre-defined categories. Users also have the option to either block all commercial calls and SMSes or to block only commercial calls while receiving SMSes of their choice.
Consumers have two choices, they can register in one of the two categories:

1. Fully blocked category: Consumers will not receive any commercial communication on their phones either as voice calls or SMSes.
2. Partially blocked category: Consumer will not receive any voice calls, but can choose to receive SMSes on any or some or all from seven pre-defined subjects:

a. Banking/insurance/financial products/credit cards

b. Real estate

c. Education

d. Health

e. Consumer goods and automobiles

f. Communication/broadcasting/entertainment/IT

g. Tourism and leisure

For users already registered with the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC) do not have to re-register, their registration will automatically continue under the 'fully blocked' category.
The request for registration on the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) will effective in seven days from the date of request for registration. There are no charges involved in the registration, re-registration or change in registration process.


There are four ways to activate your choice:

1. Via SMS sent to 1909

2. Dial 1909 and register through IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System)

3. Dial 1909 and register with the help of a customer care executive

4. Through the websites of mobile service providers

Registration via SMS

To opt for the fully blocked category, send SMS "START 0" to 1909.

To opt for the partially blocked category, send SMS "Start [option]" to 1909. The options are explained:

- "START 1" for receiving SMS relating to banking/insurance/financial products/credit cards

- "START 2" for receiving SMS relating to real estate

- "START 3" for receiving SMS relating to education

- "START 4" for receiving SMS relating to health

- "START 5" for receiving SMS relating to consumer goods and automobiles

- "START 6" for receiving SMS relating to communication/broadcasting/entertainment/IT

- "START 7" for receiving SMS relating to tourism and leisure

To opt for multiple preferences from the categories send SMS "Start [option1, option2, option3,...]" to 1909. For example, for receiving commercial SMSes from banking/insurance/financial products/credit cards and real estate, send the SMS as "START 1, 2". In case a preference "0" is mentioned in the SMS, it will override other preferences and will be treated as 'fully blocked.' For example, "START 0,1,7", will be considered as a fully blocked option.
On sending the SMS, users will receive a confirmation SMS and need to reply to the message to ensure the options chosen are implemented.
On receiving the confirmation SMS from the subscriber, the service provider will send another SMS indicating the user's preferences along with a unique registration number. It is advisable to save the unique registration number as this will serve as a reference for the subscriber's registration of preference.


Consumers can change their preferences after three months of the date of registration or three months after the last change of request. This can be done through any of the four methods described above, i.e., SMS, IVRS, customer care executive or online.
For changing preferences through SMS consumers will have to SMS "START [option]" to 1909 to receive communication on a certain category or "STOP [option]" to stop receiving messages from the indicated category. In case a consumers want to fully block all categories they can SMS "START 0" to 1909.
Users can alternately change their preferences via IVRS or speaking to a customer care executive by dialling 1909 or by visiting the mobile service providers' websites. On successful completion a confirmation SMS will be sent. How To De-Register: Consumers can opt out of the service through SMS by sending "STOP" to 1909. They can also call 1909 to de-register through IVRS or by speaking to the customer care executive.

If a consumers receives unsolicited commercial communication even after seven days of registering with the NCPR they can file a complaint either by SMS or dialling the toll-free number 1909.
To register a complaint via SMS a message in the format "COMP TEL NO XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy, Time hh:mm" to 1909, where "XXXXXXXXXX" is the telephone number or the ID from which the SMS was sent from and also mentioning the date and time when the unsolicited communication was received.
On submission of the complaint the user will be sent a unique complaint number through SMS and will be informed of the action taken on the complaint within seven days of the complaint booking.

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