Mumbai, India (PressExposure) July 15, 2011 -- Taking forward the campaign against the menace of unsolicited text SMSs and automated voice calls, BJP Telecom Consumer Cell has decided to raise the ante by taking the campaign on a mass scale. Tagged as 'Cash for Spam', the campaign will, among other things, extensively use the social media to create awareness among the youth as they are the segment who are the most affected and stand to gain the most.
In February, Sanjay Bhalla, the National Convener of the BJP Telecom Consumer Cell had submitted a memorandum of demands related to this issue to Dr JS Sarma, Chairperson of TRAI. The memorandum, drawing on practices from developed nations, demanded the implementation of a system that makes it mandatory for telecom service providers and telemarketer to pay telecom users for unsolicited text SMSs and automated voice calls.
"Despite repeated reminders we have not received a satisfactory response from TRAI. So we have decided to raise the intensity of the campaign. This is something that will benefit both the telecom operators as well as the consumers," says Mr. Bhalla.
If the proposal were to be accepted, for each unsolicited marketing SMS a consumer will receive Rs. 5/- and for each call, Rs. 10/-. The marketer will pay directly to the operator and the amount will get credited to the account of the consumer through the operator. "By law, the cell phone is the private property of the telecom user; therefore it is the consumer's right to be paid for the usage of the private resource by a third party which in this case is the Access Provider/Telemarketer," adds Mr. Bhalla.
Commenting on the launch of a social media campaign, Mr. Bhalla said that an internal study had shown that the youth, especially Facebook users, were very conscious of cell phone bills as also privacy issues. "This is a very vocal segment that is clear about what they want and are willing to participate in campaigns that they believe in. If we manage to garner their support, the campaign will grow virally."
The cell will also be setting up a special number where consumers can give a missed call and register their support, besides using the medium of chain mails, digital campaigns, enlisting celebrity support and teaming up with other consumer groups to put pressure on the Government and telecom operators.
Mr. Bhalla also announced that in due course it will take up many more issues where telecom policies are decidedly anti-consumers. "Currently, due to lack of proper policies and lack of information, consumers often get a raw deal from the telecom operators. We hope to be the voice of the consumer that acts as a pressure group to help and support consumers," concludes Mr. Bhalla.
BJP Telecom's consumer cell has initiated a campaign against the menace of unsolicited text SMSs and automated voice calls.