TRAI’s SMS Licence Raj – Part 4

All of this is being done under the guise of countering telemarketing and providing for a spam-free SMS inbox for consumers. Why stop there? Why not have ad-free newspapers and TV programmes? Slap surcharges all over the place to make life better for consumers. And who decides what is good for the consumers and for the society?

All this is of a piece. Like the Planning Commission deciding  Rs 32 as the daily poverty threshold. Like the I&B Ministry sits and deciding which  TV programmes are offensive so it can shut  out some of the TV channels. Like TRAI deciding SMS are injurious to our health and should be eliminated. Given half an opportunity, who would not like to play God?

Who cares about companies operating in this area? SMSes are ‘pesky’ and the biggest ill threatening the good life. So the companies sending SMSes must be pullled back with regulatory obstacles in the name of consumer good.

Continued tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “TRAI’s SMS Licence Raj – Part 4

  1. Well but SMSes are pesky and intrusive almost all the time. There is hardly any target based ads. Whats the use of all the technology if all you are going to do it ‘blast’. SMS companies do take the blame here. They should have been more guarded in sending out these smses to everybody. Why should I care about Noida flats when I live in Mumbai or Dr. batra’s bull crap homeopathy medicine when I am not bald or SnapDeal’s jewelry deals!

    Thank god for TRAI’s rules.

  2. There’s a difference between showing ads on TV and receiving unsolicited SMSs. With TV I have the option of changing channels, turning it off, muting it, etc etc. An SMS (or junk calls for that matter) is far more intrusive. I am forced to read SMSs even when I dont want to. I definitely would love a way to be able to given a choice to turn off unwanted SMSs.

  3. is it just anguish or is rajesh writing to the gallery?

    sms happens to be rajesh’s business, but spam sms happens to be everyone’s business, a business almost everyone was fed up with.

    trai is not playing god, it is merely listening to its audience. but for trai and dot interventions we wouldnt have had nationwide roaming, low cost sms’s, mobile portability, and some would say the 2g scam.

    given freedom the operators would have tried to ride roughshod over the public, and would cartelise, which is something which they even do now.

    the telecom revolution has given india wings, and for long people were willing to endure the bird droppings that are single blast advertising.

    it is true that businesses need to reach customers, but denying them choice is not so good. in the case of tv where we pay so less, commercials are bearable, but in phones where we pay so much, the situation is different.

    i think rajesh should have friends who are willing to tell him the truth. the sms thing was known long back, or could have been guessed, and strategies were drawn, I guess.

    the next move against telecom companies must be on the billing front, some transparency seems a growing “must”.

  4. correction:

    it is true that businesses need to reach customers, but denying customers the choice to opt out was not so good.

    in the case of tv where we pay so less, commercials are barely bearable, but in phones where we pay so much, the situation is different.

  5. There must be some backup plans. Your team should have thought about all this before and chalked out a strategy to counter this shock.

    Had you done a DB Push to Pan-India subscribers warning them about the TRAI rules..

    Or just a simple SMS, if you wish to receive our premium msgs please send STOP 0 to 1909

    or STOP DND to 1909

    That will release the numbers from blocked list and sms biz will continue as usual

    May be all users don’t mind the pesky sms ringing all day.

    You could have let them choose that.

    PS: This was done by many publishers who handle jokes, shayari etc on free channels of google/sms gupshup etc

  6. How many court, including SC rulings, have the SMS business wallahs ignored or broken? How can this industry be different from the mafia, in that case?
    I registered and disconnected ads to landline and Cellphone. Commercial SMSs are a real menace.

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