If you are getting annoying unwanted calls for caller tunes or other sales everyday or getting charged for services you don’t want, you are not alone. Mobile service provider companies make millions of calls and message everyday to its subscribers and also other telemarketing companies make unsolicited calls to sell services or goods.
Worse among all are “Value added services” also called VAS which charges a subscription fee when you knowingly or unknowingly get subscribed to them. Press a wrong key on your phone during a sales call and you will be subscribed to some unwanted service and get charged for it not once but everytime at the end of subscription after.
Here is how to stop unwanted calls/sms and VAS services on Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and others.
How to Stop Unwanted Calls & SMS – DND SMS
Type START 0 and send the SMS to 1909 (thats Zero and not the letter “0”)
After you send the DND SMS, you will receive a message asking for confirmation. Simply type Y and send the SMS to 1909
You will receive a confirmation with a reference number. That’s it!!
It will take 3 to 7 days to take effect.
What to Do if You Still Get Unwanted Calls
Register a complain through SMS, type the following format and send it to 1909
COMP TEL NO XXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy, Time hh:mm
where XXXXXXX is the phone number from which you got the call or Sender SMS name from which you getting the SMS.
So if you got call from 9845123456 on August 20, 2014 at 3:30PM then you should type the following and send it to 1909.
COMP TEL NO 9845123456, 20/08/14, Time 15:30
Register DND Complain through Service Provider’s Website
You can also register your complain on the Service Provider’s website. Visit the following link of your Service Provider and fill the Complain form
BSNL – Not Available
UNINOR – Not Available
Note: SMS from your Bank, Your Membership Clubs etc. will not be affected.
Value Added Services (VAS)
Value Added Services or VAS are additional services that one can subscribe to, like News alert, Sports, Music, Devotional etc. Most of us get subscribed to these services unknowingly and get charged for it. The worst part is that these subscriptions gets automatically renewed at the end of the subscription period.
Thanks to TRAI, now it’s easy to stop these services.
How to deactivate VAS
It is easy to deactivate so called Value Added Services (VAS) on your number. All your have to do is call 155223 and follow the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) instructions.
You can also do this through SMS.
Simply type STOP and send it to 155223.
This will deactivate all the value added services on your number including any VAS service that you have subscribed to. This number is toll free and applicable across all the mobile service providers.
You can also use this tollfree number to register a complaint.
Important: If you get subscribed to any VAS, immediately deactivate it within 24hours and you will get a refund of the amount deducted.
As the name suggests, these are messages that flash on your phone screen. It may be news or alerts but sometimes service providers send promotions (like VAS) through flash message asking to subscribe by pressing the OK button. Most of don’t read the message and if we accidentally press the OK button then you will be subscribed and charged. It is very common on Airtel and Vodafone.
How to deactivate Flash Messages
Go to Apps and look for “Sim Services” or “Sim Tools” or “Vodafone Services” if you are on Vodafone or “Airtel Now” if you are on Airtel. Then look for “Flash” and click that, then click on Activation. You will get the option to deactivate Flash there. See the below screenshots to help you:
Precautions & Preventions
- First thing first, register your number on NCPR or DND register by sending SMS STOP 0 to 1909.
- Stop VAS services by sending SMS STOP to 155223
- If you are receiving flash messages, deactivate it by going to sim services. (Read instruction above). I do these three things whenever I get a new sim card.
- If you are using a smartphone, download the app called TrueCaller. Whenever you receive a call the app tells you about the caller and you will know if it is from a telemarketer.
- Be careful whenever or whoever you give your phone number to. It is tempting to fill out Free gift winning or offer forms at Super Markets or stores but be aware that most probably they will sell your information to telemarketers. I never give out my phone number to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Also be careful giving out your phone number on websites.
Do Not Disturb (DND) Or National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) Regulation India
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is a government agency whose job is to make various policies and regulations for the Indian telecom industry. As per TRAI regulation, every mobile service provider in India is required to set up a Do Not Disturb (DND) registry now known as NCPR (National Customer Preference Register).
What is Do Not Disturb (DND) or NCPR Register?
DND (Do Not Disturb) Register or NCPR (National Customer Preference Register) is a Database of phone numbers that opt out of Commercial, Unsolicited Calls and Messages. When you send the above DND SMS to 1909, you are registering your number on this Database which is maintained by Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Telemarketers and other Companies are not allowed to make calls or send SMS to phone numbers registered on this database failing which the Company can be fined or even get their telemarketing license revoked.
Why and when it all started?
To control commercial telemarketing calls, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) started National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC, also known as Do Not Disturb(DND) registry) in 2007. The prime objective was to stop telemarketers from making unsolicited telemarketing calls or sending unsolicited messages to phone users.
Unfortunately it failed to help customers.
Four years later in 2011, TRAI came up with a new regulation – National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) which became operational in september 2011.
According to the new regulation, a telemarketer can be fined anywhere from Rs25,000 to Rs.2,50,000 depending for making unsolicited calls to numbers registered on NCPR. Also telemarketers can make calls only between 9AM to 9PM of the day.
It is also proposed that all telemarketing call numbers should start from 140 so that the customers knows its a telemarketing call and can choose to accept or reject the call.
If you need any help or have questions, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.