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Facebook Encourages Users In India Against Government’s No Spam Policy – Compelled?

The new no-spam policy from TRAI under the National Consumer Preference Register (NCPR) is being implemented from tomorrow and there is already a sort of chaos amongst the businesses relying heavily on SMS as a medium to communicate. There is no solution in the market as to how all the e-commerce and other web businesses communicate with their audience. All we can hope is that like all other rules from TRAI even this will be delayed.

Meanwhile, FaceBook in a bid to retain its user base who receive FaceBook updates over SMS has actually messaged its users to de-register from DND(Do Not Disturb) registry.

Your number is registered with Do Not Call Registry. To receive Facebook SMS after Feb 1 you must de-register by texting STOP DND to 1909.

A lot of other VAS content providers are also compelled to do similar things. If the industry itself is encouraging customers against  a government policy than surely there is something wrong and government needs to re-look into it before there is enough chaos to put people out of business.

Industry insiders believe that rule was lobbied by some large operators who shut the Bulk SMS business publicly (but continue to still promote it). The reason behind this as said is that there is no interconnectivity charges(or termination charge) paid to destination operator incase of SMS but the spectrum utilization is same for sender and receiver. Since most users are on this large network but bulk SMS is being mostly bought from TATA this made complete sense.

Whatever the case is, there needs to be a solution for this. How are you solving the issue for your business? Shutting shop after 9PM?

Update: Facebook could have have asked its customers to register for only category 6 of NCPR which covers -Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment/ IT by sending an SMS "Start 6″ to 1909 but unluckily that rule will be implemented only from tomorrow and by then it will be too late.

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.

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