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Opt out of pesky calls, then don’t come to us for products: Sanjiv Bajaj

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The individuals who do not want to receive telemarketing calls from Bajaj Finance will soon get an option to do so, but once they do it, they must “make sure” to never apply for their products, the company’s managing director Sanjiv Bajaj said, earlier this week, at the launch of its mutual funds business.

“You will see in three months on our website and our web app, an option, you click it, and we will never bother you again. You have the right to be forgotten with us,” he said.

“But then make sure you never come back to us for our products and solutions,” he added.

Bajaj said that the company issues 3 million loans a month and gets 1,500 complaints per quarter.

“No doubt, we have 1,500 people we have to solve for, to understand why they are getting bombarded, without 3 million people losing out on the opportunity to be financially included,” he said.

According to Bajaj, the company receives 15 per cent of its business through outreach via telemarketing calls. The company is working on reducing this figure to 10 per cent and, eventually, zero.

Alarmed at the rising pesky mobile calls and text messages by telemarketers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had earlier this year directed all telecom service providers to reverify registered headers and message templates on distributed ledger technologies (DLT) platform and block all unverified headers and message templates within 30 and 60 days, respectively.

The telecom regulator said that mobile operators need to ensure that temporary headers are deactivated immediately after the time for which such headers were created. TRAI issued new directions to providers to stop the misuse of headers and message templates and curb unauthorised promotions using telecom resources.

The telecom regulator told the mobile operators to remove confusion among recipients of messages and prevent their misuse, and no look-alike headers (headers which are similar by a combination of the small case or large case letters) are to be registered by access providers in the names of different principal entities.

“Access providers have been directed to bar all telemarketers, who are not registered on the DLT platform from handling the message template scrubbing and delivery of messages to recipients through Access Providers’ network,” read the TRAI note.

It directed mobile operators to take action against erring telemarketers as per the provisions of the regulations and also initiate actions as per relevant legal laws.

Following this, Business Standard reported last month that the telecom service providers (TSPs) have begun to monitor and prevent spam calls since May 1, with the help of an artificial intelligence and machine language-based system.

Touted as the first big technological measure against the growing menace of unsolicited commercial communications, all TSPs confirmed to Trai that they have rolled out the AI/ML tool. The filter system works on the distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform used by TSPs, and is set to go for incremental updates, rules for which will soon be released, officials told Business Standard.


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