COAI has always held the view that privacy of the customers is of paramount importance and should be protected. To ensure the same almost all COAI member operators had installed "Do Not Disturb" facility and this facility was available free of cost to the subscribers.
For implementation of a "Do Not Disturb" facility at a national level, Telecom Regulatory authority of India issued a consultation paper, to which COAI responded in a comprehensive manner. Subsequently, TRAI on June 05, 2007 issued Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007, for putting in place a mechanism for curbing the unwanted telemarketing calls.
National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC registry) has been established by NIC. COAI has played an active role in establishment of this registry.
Any subscriber, who does not wish to receive UCC, can register their phone number through their telecom service provider for inclusion in the NDNC through SMS/Website/Call Centre.
The NDNC Registry got operationalized on October 12, 2007. Subsequently, private GSM operators have made large investments to put in place systems & processes to ensure that the privacy of the subscriber is protected through NDNC Registry.
Further, COAI and its member operators have already taken several initiatives to ensure smooth operation and implementation of UCC Regulation. Some of the initiatives taken are highlighted below for your information and ready reference.
Creating awareness about NDNC
- To create awareness about NDNC registry Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Service Provider of India (AUSPI) in association with BSNL and MTNL, under the aegis of ACT have issued advertisement to educate customers about NDNC Registry. The said advertisement was released in 14 regional languages in all Telecom circles, covering the entire country in various leading National Dailies.
- Also, Service Providers have created awareness regarding the mechanism for registration to NDNC through Monthly bills and websites.
COAI Press Release Urging Unregistered Telemarketers to Register
- As suggested by the Authority during one of the review meeting to proactively approach and register the telemarketing agencies, COAI on behalf of its members issued a press release on November 28, 2008, requesting telemarketers who had not yet registered, to register with NDNC at the earliest.
- The said press release had appeared in the print media. Further, the press release was also published on number of websites like rediff.com, sify.com, yahoo.com, ndtvprofit.com, businesswireindia.com etc
Self Regulatory initiative - NDNC Coordination Committee for Inter-operator Complaint Resolution
- With a view to curb telemarketing calls, a self regulatory initiative which is a Coordination Committee for NDNC Registry and Resolution of Customer Complaints has been setup at COAI.
- The aim of this Committee is to ensure smooth implementation and operation of procedures laid down under the said Regulation and to remove all operational difficulties for faster resolution of customer complaints pertaining to telemarketing.
- Further, the coordination committee facilitates sharing information pertaining to customer complaints related to UCC, amongst the Service Provider. The service providers, who are members of this co-ordination committee, are regularly sharing information for speedy resolution of inter-operator customer complaints.
- All Service Providers have joined the committee and have nominated officials for inter-operator complaint handling.
Common Number for registration to NDNC
- As a customer friendly approach, the Service Providers have proposed to provision a common number across all Service Areas for both Basic & Mobile Operations (both Pre-Paid & Post-Paid and GSM as well as CDMA) for registration to NDNC Registry through SMS as well as Customer Call Centers. Further, in accordance with the TRAI’s Regulation, all Calls/SMS to this number would be of Toll Free nature.
- To enable the above, all the service providers, under the aegis of ACT (COAI & AUSPI) had approached Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for allocation of a common number on ‘Level 1’ series.
- DoT on January 14, 2008 allocated number 1909 for registration to NDNC both through Customer Care Call Centre as well as SMS. This has been provisioned by all service providers across all service areas for registration to NDNC. Subscriber can register to NDNC either by dialing 1909 or by sending ‘START DNC’ to 1909.