In the first positive step towards ending the nuisance of unwanted marketing calls, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday said it will start online registration of telemarketing companies from today.
"The new telemarketers will have to pay a registration fee of Rs1,000 and a customer education fee of Rs9,000 while the existing telemarketers will only have to pay the customer education fee of Rs9,000," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a statement.
"The registration would be valid for a period of 3 years unless revoked earlier," it added.
Last year, the telecom watchdog announced a set of new measures to curb unsolicited commercial calls and messages, which were to be implemented from 1 January, involving online registration of the telemarketing companies on 15 December. The exercise was postponed as the telecom operators were unable to meet the deadline.
The regulations, which are expected to curb the menace of pesky calls, include a fine from Rs25,000 up to Rs2,50,000 for defaulting companies and allocation of a number starting with '70' to telemarketers to make it easy for customers to recognise such numbers.
Unlike the previous regulation that asked customers to register their numbers in 'do not call' list, users can now choose from different categories like 'fully blocked' or 'partially blocked,' under which a customer can receive marketing communications for categories of his or her choice.