New Delhi, March 10 : 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 LocalCircles 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, informed 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 (TSP). TRAI added that this was to protect the consumer from inconvenience faced due to not receiving these messages.
However, what that means is that the consumers will continue to receive spam SMS messages for the coming week and if TRAI extends the same, for even a longer period.
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 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.
A total of 74 per cent citizens say they still get unwanted SMS despite being registered on Do Not Disturb (DND) list; minor reduction observed in the volume of unsolicited SMS received by citizens in last 2 years while 73 per cent still get 4 or more per day.
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.
LocalCircles survey finds that 74 per cent of mobile subscribers still receive unwanted SMS despite registering for the Do Not Disturb (DND) list. Only 4 per cent said they do not get them. 18% said they’re not registered on the DND list and 4 per cent said they don’t even know that a DND list exists.
In the last 2 years, more citizens complain 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. LocalCircles survey finds that 74 per cent of mobile subscribers still receive unwanted SMS despite registering for the Do Not Disturb (DND) list. Only 4 per cent said they do not get them. 18 per cent said they’re not registered on the DND list and 4 per cent said they don’t even know that a DND list exists. In the last 2 years, more citizens complain of getting unsolicited SMS despite being registered on the DND list.
A 26 citizens say at least a quarter of the unwanted SMS come from the mobile service provider itself; Unwanted SMSs sent by mobile service providers reduce in the last 2 years
Per TRAI, the number of registered telemarketers is roughly estimated to be around 7,500 as of August 2019, while there are lakhs of unregistered ones, including fraudsters and spammers. Till May 2019, TRAI disconnected 18,19,470 unregistered telemarketers and blacklisted another 5,89,589. Per LocalCircles survey, 26 per cent of citizens say at least a quarter of unwanted SMS messages that they receive are sent by their mobile service providers. 43 per cent said this number was between 0 and 25 per cent. Other 21 per cent of citizens said none of these are from the service providers, while 10 per cent were unsure about it.
Banking, Insurance, Real Estate, Local Services and Earning Money offers primary drivers for spam SMS; Banking, Insurance, Real Estate, Local Services SMSs reduce while Earning Money offers increase in the last 2 years.
SMS is a low-cost way of sending information across citizens and is hence very popular among businesses. Right from a multi-million-dollar insurance company to a newly opened food stall across the road, many businesses use SMSs to reach out to the customer in search of getting more business. The following question asked citizens the category under which they receive the most promotional SMSs. Of whom, 26 per cent said real estate offers, 26 per cent said banking and insurance offers, 15 per cent said local (health, medical, beauty, etc.) offers, 14 per cent said earning offers, 9 per cent said telecom or mobile service offers, while 6 per cent said others (eCommerce, telecom, etc.). The survey result indicated that unwanted SMS related to Banking, Insurance, Real Estate, Local Services reduce, while Earning money offers increased in the last 2 years.