The NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY (“NDNC”) is an initiative of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), introduced to prevent consumers from being harassed by promotional calls and text messages from various telemarketers.
In lines with the same, TRAI had insisted that any person who sends a promotional SMS to a consumer, the same is to be sent by registered telemarketers. All registered telemarketers are further obligated to compulsorily utilize the “140” series to send out promotional SMS’s.
To provide some background, there are two kinds of SMS’s that are sent to a consumer’s mobile - one is the A2P (Application-to-person) version and the other is the P2P (person-to-person) version. Promotional SMS fall under the A2P category. At a higher level, what differentiates this from the normal SMS (P2P) that you receive is, a specific code that is displayed; the differential charges that apply to send the SMS and the lack of restriction on the number of SMS that are sent on a daily basis.
To circumvent the NDNC, a lot of the telemarketers use multiple P2P numbers to send out promotional messages even to consumers who have registered themselves on the NDNC.
This very act tantamounts to a default of the regulations established and hence on the 23rd of August 2013, TRAI issued a circular calling the attention of insurance companies to adhere to the same. The said circular is available at http://www.dhc.co.in/uploadedfile/1/2/-1/Circular%20on%20Regulations%20of%20Telecom%20Regulatory%20Authority%20of%20India%20%28TRAI%29.pdf.
A defaulting telemarketer who sends promotional SMS’s to a NDNC number, is liable to disconnection of all resources that have been registered on that particular address.
As a parting note, let it be clarified that the NDNC is available only to mobile numbers and land lines cannot register themselves on the NDNC list.
Disclaimer: This is not a legal opinion and should not be construed as one. Please speak with your attorney for any advice.
Ramya Sridhar is an attorney specializing in private equity and commercial contracts.