What is DND?
Indian Telecom is a gigantic industry with over a billion of subscribers. We stand second after China when it comes to the number of subscribers. Of course, the mobile and telephones have revolutionized how we interconnect with our near and dear ones with such an ease, via the medium of calling or messaging. But at the same time, it has also open gates for various business and marketing executives, to inconspicuously call or message you, in order to promote and sell their business products or services. While it may be tolerable for some people, but for most, it is infuriating and troublesomeness.
To tackle this nagging problem, Government of India and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) came up with the solution called DND, which stands for Do Not Disturb Registry. This solution is not unique or first of its kind. I have been to the United States of America before, and they had the DND Registry since many years. Government, Businesses, and Customers are all aware of it and they take this thing pretty seriously. However we Indians do have this, but many if not most are unaware of such elementary rights. Consequently, telemarketing companies take advantage of us and harass us with their never-ending promotional calls.
You need to get your numbers registered with Do Not Disturb Registry which also, in turn, register your number at the NDNC (National Do Not Call List) within 45 days. The telemarketing companies have to cross check and verify your number with NDNC before placing a call to you for promoting their product. If they fail to do so and still end up calling you, they can get into trouble and be fined for the same.
How to Register Your Number in DND?
Nowadays, DND is also known as National Customer Preference Registry. It’s been done so because according to the latest changes to the Act, you can either “partially block” the calls and promotional SMS or you can “fully block” your number from all such calls and SMS. In partial block, you can choose as many categories as education, real estate, banking, health, etc. that seems okay to you. This way, you will get calls only from telemarketers that you are interested in.
The easiest way to get registered in DND is via placing a call from your landline number or mobile number to 1909. Just follow the preferences and you are done.
The other way around is via the SMS. To get your number registered in DND, You need to open the message and type the text “START DND” or “START 0” and send it to 1909. This is for “Fully Blocked” DND category.
On another hand, if you want to register for Partial Blocked DND, you have to choose the appropriate category and send the number corresponding to that. There is a total of 7 categories. Instead of START 0, you will need to replace 0 with the category number. Here is the text that you need to send corresponding to the categories.
- Send “START 0” – Fully Blocked
- Send “START 1” – Banking, Insurance, Financial Products & Credit Cards
- Send “START 2” – Real Estate
- Send “START 3” – Education
- Send “START 4” – Health
- Send “START 5” – Consumer Goods & Automobiles
- Send “START 6” – Communication, Broadcasting, Entertainment & IT
- Send “START 7” – Tourism & Leisure
If you wish to receive message and calls from more than one preference from above categories, you can include both in the same message like “START 3,7”. The registration of your number in DND takes place within 7 days after you register.
How to Deregister Your Number in DND?
First of all, why do you want to deregister your number? Are you missing those telemarketing callers, bugging you day in day out? Please don’t do that. It’s a win for those bullying telemarketers. We have to stop the concept of SPAM and ignoring them is the only way forward.
Nevertheless, if you want to deregister for any reason that I don’t understand, then you can send the text “STOP DND” to 1909. You need to know that you cannot deregister from DND till 90 days since the date of activation. And it will take another 7 days to process your deactivation request. Perhaps this time will be enough for you to reconsider your decision to stop those pesky callers from unwanted promotional calls and messages.
What is the Fine for DND Violations?
It so happens, that you have registered your number on DND and some telemarketing company still calls or messages you, then you can report the violator to TRAI. The violations will result in fining of the telecommunication company from INR 25,000 to INR 250,000 depending on the number of violation complaints. A sixth violation will result in termination of the telemarketing company’s number and the company will be blacklisted for a tenure of 2 years. To register a violation complaint about such caller, you can call 1909 from your phone and report the activity.
For your our convenience, Government has ordered that all such telemarketing companies have to use number starting with extensions “140” so now it will be easy for us to identify such caller.
There is a TRAI website that helps you with checking your DND status and for lodging violation and complaints, but its servers are always down, so I am not linking to the same. Google it and may the luck be with you.
*Note: You have to use the particular landline or mobile number (on which you want to register DND) to make calls or SMS to 1909
** Note: Many people have suggested numerous Apps and Settings in iOS and Android phones that will block these irritating callers and unsolicited SMS. Please do not use those. God knows what all is filled with those crappy Apps. Keep your phone safe and do not use any apps or settings that you do not understand. If there is any App, please be advised that it will somehow be connected to DND database to collect the number. Why not connect with origin yourself instead of a third party app that may interfere with your privacy.
There are some cases where you get messages starting with AM or DM or VM etc. These messages are not unsolicited. In fact, these are companies where you willingly gave your numbers, so that businesses can contact you with their offers or information concerned with you. These are messages from your Banks, your nearby eateries like Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc. or probably from your clothing stores where you want to know about the current discounts. There is no single way to stop these messages. In fact, most, if not all, have to be contacted separately and asked to unsubscribe. I will compile a list of various such institutions and let you know soon enough on how to unsubscribe from these SMS. Until then, it’s a goodbye!