Track online buys by keeping SMS channel selectively open

Swetha Kannan Chennai | Updated on September 28, 2011

Now, customers have the option of receiving messages from their preferred sectors. — Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash   -  The Hindu

You may no longer get an early morning SMS from your favourite retailer saying the wardrobe you purchased online is on its way — following TRAI's latest regulations to protect consumers from “unsolicited”, “promotional” SMSes. But you could continue to get SMS alerts on your online purchases — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — by subscribing to the partial DND (Do-not-disturb) registry.

SMS alerts on transactions conducted post-9 p.m. will be sent out the next day.

Till now, online retailers such as Flipkart and eBay have communicated with customers on a real-time basis on information relating to order confirmation, shipment and delivery status through SMS.

Certain alerts such as ‘delivery made to third party' or ‘unsuccessful delivery due to unavailability of customer' were sent only via text messages.

“We will now look at sending these messages over e-mail. However, customers may not always have access to mail. The flow of information to customers might get affected and this may cause some inconvenience to both sides,” says Mr Sachin Bansal, CEO, Flipkart, which has an active user base of over one million customers.

The DND service is designed to protect people from receiving unsolicited, promotional SMS from traders and merchants.

Though this can successfully prevent consumers from receiving spam, it also acts as a barrier for important, transactional messages, say industry observers.

A partial DND lets users opt to receive messages from certain sectors which they deem important.

There are specific codes that enable customers to receive messages from their preferred sector.

For example, if a customer wants to continue receiving SMS alerts from Flipkart, then he needs to opt out of DND for the ‘consumer goods' sector using the relevant code – 5.

So if a consumer sends ‘START 5' to 1909, he will continue to be a part of the national DND registry, but will receive text messages from ‘consumer good' companies such as Flipkart.

Send ‘STOP' to 1909 to de-register.

Published on September 28, 2011

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