Onus Should Be On Service Providers To Stop Pesky SMSes & Calls [Editorial]

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It is very strange that subscribers have been facing the menace of receiving unsolicited promotional SMSes and calls from unregistered tele-marketers and despite various measures announced by TRAI, this problem still presists. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had last week said he too was a victim of the unsolicited communications. “Every two minutes I get such SMS,” he had said. TRAI is taking up the issue of pesky calls and SMSes, he had added.

But to me the root cause of this problem lies with telecom operators who are offering concessional SMS offers to generate revenues. This is the reason that they are least bothered to attend to complaints lodged by a subscriber for receiving pesky Smses who has signed under DND provision. Despite telecom regulator TRAI’s decision to permit only 100 SMSes in a day per SIM card at concessional rates, and beyond this cap, charge of minimum 50 paise will be applicable, this policy decision will also fail if the service providers do not cooperate.

To elucidate my point, I want to share my experience with our readers. I have been receiving approximately 30 pesky Smses per day and in this connection, I lodged the complaint with Airtel three weeks ago and they acknowledged the complaint after one week and again sought time of two weeks to look into my problem. But even after two weeks, no action has been taken by them and the problem still persists. There is little likelihood that they will take any action at all as few months ago also I had lodged the complaint and they informed me that it is not possible for them to take action as they are unable to trace the senders.

Moreover, it is very time-consuming procedure to file the complaint online. You are required to file individual complaint for each number from where SMS was generated and if you have to file complaint for 30 SMSes then you will have to repeat the procedure 30 times! If you have the patience to repeat this process only then you can be successful in lodging the complaint.

To add salt to your injury, the service providers take the complaints very lightly and there is no chance of getting the problems fixed. If the telecom ministry is really interested to get rid of this problem then TRAI should put the onus on service providers to fix the problem. The service providers should be held responsible for not stopping the pesky smses and calls once the complaint has been filed with them. If the subscriber continue to receive the pesky calls and smses after signing DND then he or she should be compensated for each pesky message or sms by the service provider after filing the complaint within reasonable time frame of 7 working days failing which the amount to be paid should be increased for delayed response.

Until and unless service providers are held responsible for this menace, this will continue to give trouble to the subscribers and the telecom ministry should have the guts and intent to tell service providers to set their house in order.

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