How to get rid of telemarketers

Still receiving marketing calls and SMS? File a complaint against them either by calling a toll free number or via SMS. The penalty they face is strong.
After the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, it was expected that mobile subscribers will not receive unsolicited commercial communication (unwanted calls/SMS) from telemarketers from 27 September 2011 onwards. But the menace still continues and mobile users are being harassed by unwanted calls and SMS, albeit at lower frequency.
However, there is a small difference. Earlier, we used to receive calls or SMS from numbers that we could identify (after few calls). Now they are originating mostly from personal mobile numbers. For example, earlier we used to receive calls from numbers like 012466005000 (representation only) or similar such numbers. However, these days it can be any mobile number. And since most of the times, it is an unknown number; users are fooled into receiving the call or reading the message.
On its part, the TRAI has created the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) that keeps records of subscriber preferences for receiving commercial communication. Under NCPR, there are two categories, fully blocked and partially blocked. If you do not want to receive any unwanted calls or SMS, then send an SMS START 0 to 1909. At present there are seven preferences to choose from for partially blocking unwanted calls or SMS. The user can opt to receive such communication based on her choice by sending a SMS for example START 4 to 1909 to receive messages on health products.
If despite registering for fully blocked category if you are receiving unwanted calls and messages, then you can file complaint against the telemarketer. You can also file complaint, if you are receiving such communication from categories other than you allowed. This is quite simple and easy.
The subscriber can file complaint either by dialling 1909 (toll free) or sending SMS. When you dial the toll free number, you can either register the complaint through the customer care executive or through the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).
For this method, you would be required to provide particulars of the telemarketer, the telephone/ mobile number from which you received the call/SMS, date and time and a brief description of the call or SMS. After this, you will get a unique complaint number.
For registering the complaint via SMS, you need to send a SMS to 1909 in the specified format.
“COMP TEL NO XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy, Time hh:mm”
Where XXXXXXXXXX – is the telephone number or header of the SMS, from which the unsolicited commercial communication has originated.
Here you would receive the complaint number via SMS. In both cases, you would be informed within seven days on the action taken on your complaint.
Important thing to keep in mind is the complaint has to be registered from the telephone number on which unsolicited commercial communication has been received and the complaint must be made within three days of receipt of the unsolicited commercial communication.
According to the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Thirteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2013, if the telemarketer is found to be not registered with the NCPR, then the service provider (mobile operator) is liable to pay financial disincentives of Rs5,000 on each complaint.
In addition, if the unwanted call or SMS contains reference to another telephone number or an entity like bank, insurance company or builder for which the commercial transaction is solicited, then telecom resources issued to the subscriber or entity is discontinued across all service provides after receiving a complaint, after serving notices each on the first and second complaint.
For example, if you received marketing call from XYZ Bank or ABC Insurance Co, from numbers that are not registered as telemarketers, then your complaint and its follow up may lead to disconnection of all telephone/mobile connections provided to XYZ Bank or ABC Insurance across the country.
If your issue is not resolved, then you may want to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act. File an application under the RTI and ask for daily progress, name and designations of officers who handled your complaint, the time frame to resolve such complaints, and the action taken on officials, who have failed to resolve the complaint within the stipulated time.
Another way to get rid of the telemarketers is to use an application on your smartphone. For example, TrueCaller and SPC (Super Private Conversation). TrueCaller allows the user to identify unknown callers and also block spam or unwanted calls. In addition, you also can mark a call as spam and report that helps other users of TrueCaller to avoid such calls. Only disadvantage is you will have to share you phone book with the app. TrueCaller is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.
SPC is an app for Android platform that blocks SMS and calls from unknown sources through a blacklist. In addition, the user can move private conversation to a private place inside the mobile device. The app is simple and easy to use and block unwanted SMS and calls.
Although, you can file a complaint against a telemarketer if you receive unwanted call or SMS, there is no respite from such communication on instant messengers like WhatsApp.  Although, you can block such number in WhatsApp, you need to open and read the message before knowing the identity of the sender.
At present there are over 90 crore mobile subscribers in India. Low tariffs and direct reach to consumers has made SMS and direct calling as one of the most cost effective ways of selling services and products. However, telemarketing had brought with it serious issues of invasion of privacy and has become a major irritant to customers. Although, this is has come down tremendously, there still are some telemarketers, who are troubling subscribers through unwanted calls and SMS. However, you can now file complaint against such telecallers and teach them a lesson for disturbing you with their unwanted calls/SMS.

How prepaid mobile subscribers are being looted

Prepaid, mobile subscribers, TRAI, airtel, vodafone, idea

Arbitrary hikes in data and call charges for prepaid subscribers are frequent and not limited to just one mobile operator. In addition, Vodafone and Idea have reduced 3G prepaid data pack validity to a non-standard 28-days, thus forcing the user to recharge 13 times in a year instead of 12

Subscribers of Bharti Airtel have right to be furious over the mobile operator’s decision to charge extra for subscribers using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) apps, like Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts. However, Airtel is not the only one who is charging more to its own subscribers. Several mobile operators like Vodafone and Idea Cellular are discriminating between their own post-paid and prepaid subscribers by enforcing non-standard validity period for internet packs. This follows an arbitrary hike in mobile data tariffs for 3G packs irrespective of whether the subscriber really gets the specified, minimum speed for internet or no.

Click Here for the full story by Yogesh Sapkale

World Consumer Phone Rights

World Consumer Rights Day was established on 15 March 1983 to promote consumer rights around the world. For WCRD 2014, we are calling on CI Members and Supporters to highlight the consumer issues that are undermining and frustrating the success of mobile phone services.

CI’s agenda for Phone Rights

CI’s Consumer Agenda for Fair Mobile Services addresses the issues that affect mobile consumers across the world, and we hope every CI Member and Supporter can join the call. Some of the issues we want to address are:

1.  Provide consumers with access to an affordable, reliable service

Consumers want to be able to have access to affordable mobile services in order to communicate and to access information. It is only reasonable that they then expect those services to be consistent and of a high quality without drop outs in service.

2. Provide consumers with fair contracts explained in clear, complete and accessible language

Consumers often feel cheated by their mobile provider, either because of unfair contract terms and conditions or because they didn’t understand what they had signed. Telecom providers should always provide consumers with fair contracts with all relevant information explained clearly so that consumers can exercise their right to make informed choices.

3. Provide consumers with fair and transparent billing

Consumers shouldn’t be billed for services they didn’t request. We demand fairness and transparency in our bills, and protection from billing fraud.

4. Provide consumers with security and power over their own information 

Telecoms providers and regulators alike must protect the personal data that consumers give up in order to use mobile services. Whilst giving consent to use personal data can enhance the experience of using a mobile phone, it can also compromise the consumer’s right to safety. Consumers must be able to set the terms of how this data is used.

5. Listen and respond to consumer complaints

Telecom providers should have effective complaints systems and if consumers are not satisfied there should be redress mechanisms to ensure a fair outcome. We must be able to penalise providers for abusive and unjust business practices.

 Click Here for downloads and more information

Vodafone humbled – pays Rs. 30,000


I purchased two handsets for Rs.6398 in 2008 from HUTCHISON MAX PAGING PVT. LTD., a Vodafone dealer in Mumbai on which the name of Vodafone was inscribed. There was two years warranty. Many a time they couldn’t get connected to the network and were giving lot of trouble.

I requested the dealer to replace the handsets which could be operational but they refused.

I filed the case in Consumer District Court, Bandra which ordered Vodafone to refund me Rs.6398 with Rs.4000/- as compensation for legal expenses and hardship I suffered. I didn’t accept the amount and appealed to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, Mumbai and argued the case in person on 30eth April 2013.

Commission passed the order in my favour.

Accordingly I received from Vodafone on 22nd May 2013 the cheque of Rs.6398 as the refund of my purchase price and a further cheque of Rs.30,000 as the damages.

My advice: fight for your right, never give up.


(Bhagvanji Raiyani)

Chairman & Managing Trustee

Forum For Fast Justice

How to block unsolicited mobile calls


  • Call 1909,
  • Register for fully or partially blocked category.
  • In partially blocked segment, you can choose from one of the seven sectors financial services, real estate, education, health, consumer goods & autos, entertainment and tourism
  • SMS to 1909: For fully blocked category, say “START 0”. For partially blocked, SMS START’ with one of the seven options
  • There are at present 7 preferences to choose from-
    Banking/Insurance/Financial Products/Credit Cards-1,
    Real Estate-2,
    Consumer goods and automobiles-5,

Examples – To receive messages relating to only Health products, then send SMS “START 4” to 1909. Similarly, for receiving messages relating to Real Estate and Education, send SMS “START 2,3” to 1909.

  • Within 24 hours, you will receive a registration number and the service will be operational within 7 days
  • Customers can also de-register their request for NDNC registry by dialing 1909 or SMS to 1909 STOP


  • Via SMS: Simply forward the message to 1909
  • Add the phone number of the sender and the date on which it has been sent

For more details please check Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Portal

HC orders not implemented in Mumbai – Cell Towers

2 HC orders not yet implemented in Mumbai Why ? People of Mumbai r taken for ride even after one and half months being passing since 2 important HC Judgement that should have been implemented even in Mumbai. 1. Rajasthan HC ask for removal of mobile towers from areas near schools, hospitals and densely populated localities. Any HC order is mandatory on entire country. Why in last 1 and half month, Term Cell has failed in implementing this order in Mumbai.

Term Cell the implementing agency should have taken action to remove towers that r violating norm still a tower on School (Photo attached ) could be seen. It is indeed surprising that just one incident at Kanjurmarg on 12 Sept. is reported when 7 operators were found violating the norms. How in last more than a month thereafter not a single new case has been found violating the norms when i have produced the attached a picture of a school which is still having a tower intact on it terrace subjecting small kids to radiation. Will Mr. Deora answer this and if he is clean taken immediately take immediate action against top officials who seem to be hand in gloves with operators or is he himself hand in gloves with operators. 22.8.2012 (UNI)

The Rajasthan High Court today asked the state government to remove by next 10 days, mobile towers from areas near schools, hospitals and densely populated localities. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and NK Jain issued the directives today while hearing PILs in this regard. Earlier on last hearing on August 16, the court had sought the state government’s plans for implementation of the PK Goyal committee report that had reportedly recommended removal of the towers from above mentioned areas. Much hue and cry has been raised over the issue in different quarters after the media reports over possible health hazards due to radiations from the towers. This led to constitution of Committee led by Mr Goyal to study the matter and make due recommendations. UNI Even here appeal was set aside by SC and upheld HC order. Once an order is upheld by SC it becomes law of the land applicable even for Mumbai.

2. New norms for mobile towers to save wildlife from radiation 11.8.2012 (UNI) Expressing concern over the harmful effect of the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on the wildlife, especially birds and bees, the Environment and Forest Ministry has asked the Telecommunications Department not to allow installation of new mobile towers within a one-km radius of the existing ones. In an advisory issued on the basis of the recommendation of an expert committee on the issue, the Ministry has directed that the new towers should be constructed with utmost care and precautions ‘so as not to obstruct flight path of birds, and also not to increase the combined radiation from all towers in the area’. The service providers should be provided information on standards for safe limit of EMR and these norms should be notified, the advisory said. It also calls for regular monitoring and auditing of EMR around educational institutions, hospitals, residential and recreational areas. The advisory added that there should be ecological impact assessment of the places where mobile towers were to be installed. Moreover, the locations and frequencies of cellphone towers and other towers emitting EMR be made available in public domain, it said. UNI (There is no such information on net available as of today even after one and half months being passed since this order. ) 24.7.2012 (UNI)

Delhi High Court issued notices to the Central and Delhi governments on a petition seeking ban on high frequency mobile phone towers in residential areas as its radiation causes health hazards. Justice Rajiv Shakdhar directed the Department of Telecommunications, the Chief Secretary of Delhi Government and a leading mobile service provider to file its response on the petition by January 14, 2013. The court’s directions came while hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Ramnath Garg who sought imposition of a ban on installation of high frequency mobile phone towers within 50 meters of schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Ensuring compliance of the Rajasthan High Court order of August 22 the telecom operators shut down their towers situated on school premises in the entire state from 9 pm on Monday, the deadline set by the court.

Apex court declines to interfere with Rajasthan HC order on mobile tower removalNEW DELHI, SEPT 7: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with a Rajasthan High Court order to the state government to remove mobile phone towers, suspected to be potential health hazards due to radiation from them, from near the schools, hospitals and densely populated localities.

Jitendra Gupta

Unsolicited Phone calls – How to Register a Complaint?

1.      If you receive any unsolicited commercial communications seven days afterregistration of your telephone number in the National Customer Preference Register(NCPR), you may register a complaint by:

A. Dialling the toll free number 1909; or

B. Sending an SMS to 1909

Click Here for the full instructions

Courtesy : J B Patel  /  Taxguru

Complaint System for Cell Tower Radiation

The system will be handled by a government enterprise. It will work with the department’s Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell. Based on the location of the mobile tower, the monitoring team assigned for the zone will visit the site and test the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation levels. Within ten days from the registration of the complaint, a report will be prepared. In case the report indicates that radiation levels are within the prescribed limit, the complainant will have to pay a processing fee of Rs 4,000. In case a violation is identified, the errant firm will be fined Rs. 5 lakh and the complainant’s fee.

Click Here for the full Press Release

How to Complain

LOG ON to the Department of Telecommunication (DOT) website Click on the link ‘Public Grievance- EMF Radiation’ to register your complaint about the suspected high radiation levels emitted by mobile towers in your neighbourhood. Once you get the complaint no., you will have to deposit a cheque or DD for Rs. 4,000 in favour of  Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd. – Current Account No 000705005880 in their  ICICI Bank Account. After having deposited the cheque, you need to call on the number given below and give them the details of the cheque no., Bank Name etc. on phone ( the payment update link on the website is not working as on 11/10/2012)

CALL 99695 55000 between 10 am and 5 pm to register your complaints.