‘DND’ mode ineffective in preventing spam calls

New Delhi, Jan 14: Ahead of the release of fresh guidelines by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regarding prevention of spam callers, a survey conducted reported that registering for the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) list remains ineffective.

Telemarketing calls and messages have become a routine way for many companies to reach out to prospective customers. However, the redundant string of calls seeps into our personal time and is increasingly getting dangerous by the day. Callers have these days begun posing as government or banking agents and trick people into sharing banking details, thereby making them vulnerable to fraud.

Taking this into cognizance, the TRAI decided to issue a set of guidelines to curb unwanted marketing calls by January 15.

To ascertain collective consumer experiences, LocalCircles conducted two polls to understand if people were getting messages despite being on DND. The first poll asked citizens what was their experience with the DND registry for mobile phone subscribers. 52 percent said it was ineffective as they received regular marketing calls and messages despite DND being activated, while 25 percent said it partially works.

The second poll asked citizens how many unsolicited messages they received every week even after being registered on DND. Data noted that 29 percent received up to 10 messages, 32 percent received 10-30 messages and 18 percent received more than 30 unsolicited messages every week. Only 21 percent said they do not receive any unsolicited messages after registering on DND.

In the past, telecom operators and smartphone makers have done their bit in protecting consumers from spammers.

The TRAI created a National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC) filter which is fully run by Indian Government. The main purpose of this was to prevent unwanted marketing messages and calls from telemarketers.

Apple Inc., on the other hand, has agreed to provide a framework to support the telecom regulator’s mobile app that can report spam calls and messages on iPhones.

Citizens urged that TRAI take strict actions against spammers and companies that do not honour the privacy of DND users. They also said telecom companies should put processes and filters in place to make sure that the subscribers who are in DND mode do not receive spam calls or text messages.

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