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Most Indians get unwanted SMS despite 'blocking'

Most Indians get unwanted SMS despite ‘blocking’
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Most Indians get unwanted SMS despite ‘blocking’

Highlights

A total of 74 per cent of citizens say they still get spam SMS despite registering on TRAIs ‘Do Not Call Registry, as per a Local Circles survey.

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New Delhi: A total of 74 per cent of citizens say they still get spam SMS despite registering on TRAIs 'Do Not Call Registry, as per a Local Circles survey.

A 14 per cent have got spam SMS in the last 12 months about earning money. Only minor reduction observed in volume of unsolicited SMS received by citizens in last 2 years, the survey said.

After SMS and OTP disruptions were reported for banking, payment and other transactions, the TRAI for 7 days suspended the implementation of norms for commercial text messages or SMS which came into effect on Monday.

TRAI on Tuesday, said that it has observed that some of the Principal Entities (PE) have not fulfilled the requirements as envisaged in Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018 and as a result their SMS were getting dropped after scrubbing by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). TRAI added that this was to protect the consumer from inconvenience faced due to not receiving these messages. LocalCircles has now conducted a follow on survey to check the citizen pulse on unwanted and spam SMS, to understand if there's been an increase in UCC and if Regulator's "do not disturb, or DND" initiative has been any effect at all. Also, citizens' opinion on spam SMSs was compared with previously conducted surveys to understand the change over time. The survey received more than 35,000 responses from citizens located in 324 districts of India.

In the first question, citizens were asked how many unwanted SMS they receive every day on average? 37 per cent said they receive 4-7 messages every day, 36 per cent said 8 or more, 25 per cent said 1-3, while only 2 per cent said they don't get unwanted SMS at all.

Per the survey, the aggregate votes of citizens indicated that 73 per cent get 4 or more unwanted SMSs every day. The question to the survey received 7,632 votes. In the last 2 years, there's been a minor reduction in the volume of unsolicited SMS received by citizens, which could be attributed to lockdowns and office shutdowns.

Many people face issues of unwanted telemarketing messages and calls made to them by fraudsters, spammers, telemarketers, despite registering on TRAI's Do Not Call Registry (NDNS). More shocking is the news of around 93 million phone numbers registered with the TRAI's "Do Not Call Registry (NDNS)" kept on sale on the Darknet in February 2020.

In the last 2 years, more citizens complained of getting unsolicited SMS despite being registered on the DND list. According to the telecom regulator, as of May 2018, there were 23 crore mobile subscribers registered with the DND registry.

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