New TRAI Policy on Spam SMS is All Set to Create Chaos

Starting Feb 1st (2011), telecom operators will have to comply to new TRAI guidelines on SMS spam and while the deed is noble, it will create more confusion for consumers.

First, the fineprint.

– From Feb 1, there will only be 2 categories of messages- Transactional (Bank alerts, Railway & Airline alerts, Messages to parents from school etc) and Non transactional or Promotional (all remaining categories except mentioned earlier – like courier alerts, spam, marketing offers, news alerts, subscribed SMS services, intra company or group messages and so on)

– Only transactional messages will have full branded sender id (like TA-HDFCBANK) for others, there will be a 6 digit code (like TA-n12345 or TA-nABCDE), where n is the category of the message and further 5 digits are the unique code given by the telecom operator to each aggregator.

– All non-transactional messages will be compulsorily passed through the NDNC filter.(This means, you will NOT receive the subscribed/ paid news alert or even your courier status message if you are registered with DND) and will be allowed only during 9am to 9pm.

As a consumer, you will now have to open each and every non-transactional message to check on the content. So far, you could easily delete a message just by checking the names, but now ensure that you open each and every sms to see if there is something important.

Moreover, does this mean that you need to unsubscribe from DND to get other relevant & important messages (that TRAI considers non-transactional)?.

What’s your take? What will be the impact of this on bulk sms services? Operators have started testing this regulation – so chances of the implementation being delayed is minimal.

[Hat tip: Sagar, founder of SMSBlocker – a service that blocks spammy sms].

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