Tired of Unsolicited Calls and Text? Here’s What You Can Do

TRAI has a clearly laid down procedure for registering your preference for receiving commercial communication. 

Published
India
4 min read
Many of us are sick and tired of those pesky unsolicited calls and texts. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Many of us are sick and tired of those unsolicited calls and texts. While there is a Do Not Disturb (DND) option to block all such calls and texts, some of us might want to keep getting information about banking or other such services and products. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has a clearly laid down the procedure for registering your preference for receiving such commercial communication.

Procedure for Registering Your Preference

As a telecom customer, you have the option to either block all commercial calls and texts, or to block only commercial calls while receiving texts of your choice. For this purpose, you have to register your preference. Preference can be registered by dialing the toll free number 1909, or sending a text to 1909. You can register for the Fully Blocked category in which No Commercial Call or texts will be allowed or for the Partially Blocked category. If you opt for the Partially Blocked category, you will not receive any commercial call but will receive texts on subject(s) that you opt for.



(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

The various subjects in the partially blocked category are the following:

1. Banking/InsuranceFinancial products/credit cards
2. Real Estate
3. Education
4. Health
5. Consumer goods and automobiles
6. Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT
7. Tourism and Leisure

Registering Through IVRS or Customer Care
Once you dial 1909, listen to the instructions and choose one of the following for registration of the preference:

  • Through customer care executive
  • Through IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System)

You could ask the customer care executive for registration of your preference i.e. whether you would like to register in the fully blocked category or the partially blocked category.

The customer care executive will ask you to exercise your preference if you opt for the partially blocked category. You can opt for one, or a combination of some, or all the subjects. The customer care executive will confirm your preference(s) and register the same. You will get an SMS confirming the preferences exercised by you along with your unique registration number.

Similar process has to be followed for registering your preference through IVRS.

Registering Through SMS

You can register your preference(s) for commercial communications by also sending an SMS to 1909.

Tired of Unsolicited Calls and Text? Here’s What You Can Do

The procedure for opting for various categories is the following:

To opt for the fully blocked category, send SMS “START 0” to 1909.
To opt for the partially blocked category, send SMS “Start ” to 1909 as below:

  • START 1 for receiving SMS relating to Banking/ Insurance / Financial products/Credit cards
  • START 2 for receiving SMS relating to Real Estate
  • START 3 for receiving SMS relating to Education
  • START 4 for receiving SMS relating to Health
  • START 5 for receiving SMS relating to Consumer goods and automobiles
  • START 6 for receiving SMS relating to Communication/ Broadcasting/ Entertainment /IT
  • START 7 for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and Leisure

You can also opt for multiple preferences from categories send SMS START <option1, option2, option3,…> to 1909. For e.g., START 1,2

Please remember that Preference ‘0’ will always suppress other preferences. If ‘0’ is sent with along any other customer preferences, it will be treated as a fully blocked preference. For example, START 0,2,3 will be considered a fully blocked option.

On receipt of an option exercised through text, the telecom service provider will send another text to confirm the options exercised. You have to send a confirmation text so that options exercised are implemented. On getting the confirmation text, the telecom service provider will register your preference and send you a text indicating your preferences along with your unique registration number.



(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

Registering a Complaint

If you receive any unsolicited commercial communications seven days after registration of your telephone number through the above method, you can register a complaint by:

Please note that 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.

  • Dialing the toll free number 1909 or
  • Sending a text to 1909

You may register a complaint by sending a text to 1909 in the below format

‘The Unsolicited Commercial Communication, XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy’

Where XXXXXXXXXX is the telephone number or header of the SMS, from which the unsolicited commercial communication has been received. The complaint will be registered and acknowledged by the telecom service provider by texting a unique complaint number. You will be informed of the action taken on your complaint within 7 days of the booking of the complaint.

De-registering from the system

You can de-register from the system by sending a STOP to 1909. You can also change your preference by following the procedure laid down by TRAI.

(Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast and is passionate about Governance/Policy issues.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!