It’s wonderful that we now have a way to prevent telemarketers from bugging us with calls and messages on our cell phones. However, it turns out that there is a slight problem in that it’s not possible to be as selective as one might like. While certain customer service messages are allowed without opening the floodgates of spam, many messages you might want to get are blocked.

I got this email about it from FlipKart.com, a big online seller of books and other goods in India:

“Due to the new TRAI regulations, we will not be able to send you Order Confirmation / Shipment / Delivery SMS notifications, starting 27th September 2011 (tomorrow).

What will not change?
We will continue to send you email notifications, so you need not worry about not receiving SMS alerts. However, since a lot of the courier and shipment related communication happens via SMS, it is advisable that you subscribe to partial DND (explained below).

What will change?
You will receive SMS alerts only between 9AM – 9PM. SMS alerts for any transactions conducted post 9PM will be sent out the next day.

What you need to do?
If you wish to continue to receive Order Confirmation / Shipment / Delivery SMS notifications for your transactions on Flipkart.com, please do ONE of the following:
Send “START 5” to 1909 to activate partial-DND, allowing you to receive SMS alerts from all ‘Consumer Goods’ companies
Send “STOP” to 1909 to de-register from DND
Please feel free to call us on 1800 102 3547 (24X7, Monday-Sunday) for any clarification.”

What this means is that you don’t have a way to allow SMS notifications for stuff you’ve bought without also allowing spam from consumer goods companies. This is a huge defect in the regulations. Deregistering from DND altogether isn’t a good idea as it will allow everyone to keep spamming you, although you can select certain categories of messages to block.

These “transactional messages” are allowed even if you have opted to block everything:

  • Information sent to its customer(s) by the Bank or financial institution or insurance company or Credit Card Company or Access Provider pertaining to the account of that customer(s);
  • Information given by Airlines or Indian Railways or its authorized agencies to its passengers regarding travel schedules, ticket booking and reservation;
  • Information from a registered educational institution to parents or guardians of its students;
  • Any other message as may be specified by the Authority, from time to time as “Transactional message”


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