India's telecom regulator TRAI needs to look, once again, at the usage of the transactional SMS pipe for promotional messaging. Last year, the TRAI, following reports highlighting the misuse of the (cheaper) transactional SMS pipe for promotional messaging had said that it would ban telemarketers that use the transactional pipe for promotional messaging. While the regulator can do little to control SMS Spam originating from SIM cards bought for mass messaging, except increase interconnect charges, the use of the transactional pipe for messaging can still be controlled. Transactional messages meant to be sent by companies to their customers following the completion of a transaction, and are typically related to ticketing, bookings or purchases, or a users account status. Messages such as those below, from e-commerce players Jabong, Yebhi and Myntra, are clearly promotional in nature, and are not transactional messages, in our opinion: Stupid @myntra guys give an invalid no. to opt out of their daily SMS spam. pic.twitter.com/u3g1u8vt0t — Alexander Gounder (@gounder) June 20, 2013 This text from Yebhi would be considered as spam right? pic.twitter.com/LRXYw6PEXl — Sushubh (@Sushubh) June 9, 2013 Jabong spam. http://t.co/eCZ2l0Lg96 — Apurva Chaudhary (@unitechy) June 22, 2013 In fact, there are several complaints on Twitter about Myntra (see this), Jabong (see this) and Yebhi (see this) spamming users. The TRAI regulation on telemarketers using the transactional pipe states that the telemarketers they will be barred from sending both promotional and transactional messages. I have used Jabong once (last year), hence my details are in their database.…
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