How to File a DND Complaint in India

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Mehak Dhingra

mins read

March 11, 2024

Best Practices to Avoid DND Violations

Key Takeaways

  1. The registraton in the DND list or NDNC registry helps individuals to opt out from unsolicited communications from businesses
  2. You can either SMS or call the national number dedicated to DND registrations i.e. 1909
  3. You can also go specific and only add certain industries to your DND list
  4. You can check your DND status from NDNC's website and also remove your number anytime
  5. Some of the best practices for businesses include obtaining consent, registration compliance etc.

A2P messaging has two subsets: -

  1. Promotional SMS: This constitutes of any sort of promotions like discounts, offers, exclusive access etc.  
  2. Transactional SMS: This includes SMS verification, alerts, delivery updates, important notifications etc.  

Usually, there is an overwhelming volume of promotional SMS being targeted towards users. Unwanted promotional calls and promotional SMS messages in India, have the option to register for the Do Not Disturb (DND) list.  
The DND list, officially known as the National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, allows individuals to opt out of receiving unsolicited communications from businesses. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of signing up for the DND list, removing your number from the registry, and filing a complaint in case of violations.

Signing up for the DND List

To sign up for the DND list, you can follow a few simple steps.

  1. The easiest way is to send an SMS message to 1909, the national number dedicated to DND registrations. In the body of the message, simply type "START DND" or "START 0" to register for the fully blocked category.  
  2. You should receive an acknowledgement from your carrier, informing you that it may take some time for the registration to become effective.  
  3. Additionally, you can also call 1909 and follow the recorded instructions to register if you prefer voice calls to texting.

It's worth noting that once you activate the DND service, your number cannot be deactivated for 90 days. However, you have the flexibility to choose which industries you want to block. There are seven sectors from which you can select:

  1. Banking, insurance, financial products, and credit cards
  2. Real estate
  3. Education
  4. Health
  5. Consumer goods and automobiles
  6. Communication, broadcasting, entertainment, and IT
  7. Tourism and leisure

To block promotional messages from a specific industry, simply send an SMS with "START [sector number]" to 1909.  
For example, if you want to block messages from the health sector, you can send "START 4" to 1909. Remember, you can change your DND preferences at any time, but only one change is allowed within a 30-day period.

Checking Your DND Registration Status

After signing up for the DND list, you may want to verify your registration status. The NDNC Registry provides a page where you can check the status of your registration.  
Simply visit the page and enter your details to determine whether your number is successfully registered on the DND list.

Removing Your Number from the DND List

If you wish to remove your number from the DND list, you can send an SMS with "STOP DND" to 1909.  
However, it's important to note that numbers cannot be deactivated for 90 days after activation. Therefore, make sure you are certain about your decision before opting out of the DND service.

When DND Doesn't Help: Filing a Complaint

Despite the DND service, it's possible to still receive unwanted messages from telemarketers. If you find yourself in this situation, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has established a mechanism to file complaints against such violations. To file a complaint, you can either send an SMS or call 1909 and provide the following details:

  1. Sender ID
  2. Message content
  3. Message date and time

Alternatively, you can visit your carrier's website and look for a form dedicated to DND complaints. After submitting a complaint, you should receive a unique complaint tracking number.  
The NDNC Registry is responsible for taking action on the complaint within seven days, which may include disconnecting the calling number and imposing financial penalties on the violator.

Best Practices to Avoid DND Violations

Infographic displaying the Best Practices to Avoid DND Violations By Message Central

As a business, it is crucial to respect the DND preferences of your customers and avoid being the source of complaints with your SMS campaigns. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Register with the TRAI and obtain a unique sender ID for your messages.
  2. Obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending any marketing or promotional messages.
  3. Check each recipient against the NDNC registry and respect their preferences.
  4. Provide an opt-out mechanism, such as an unsubscribe link or instructions to send a "STOP" message, with each promotional message.
  5. Respect time restrictions by refraining from sending promotional messages between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  6. Limit the number of messages with the same content, from the same sender to the same number to six per hour.
  7. Maintain records of customer consent, preferences, and opt-out requests as required by the TRAI.

By adhering to these best practices, you can ensure compliance with DND regulations and avoid potential violations. If you encounter any difficulties or have further questions, the support team at Message Central is ready to assist you.

In conclusion, the DND service in India provides individuals with the ability to opt out of receiving unwanted promotional calls and SMS messages sent by businesses using SMS APIs.
By following the registration process, monitoring your DND status, and taking action against violations, you can have greater control over the communications you receive. Businesses, on the other hand, should prioritize compliance and follow best practices to respect their customers' preferences.

With these measures in place, both consumers and businesses can benefit from a more streamlined and respectful communication experience. DND regulations in India have been enforced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to protect consumers from unsolicited commercial communications. TRAI has implemented measures such as AI spam filters for telecom companies to reduce unwanted calls and messages.  

However, it is crucial for individuals to be aware that the DND service is not flawless, and violations can still occur. By understanding the process of filing complaints and implementing best practices, consumers can act against violators and businesses can ensure compliance with DND regulations.

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