Is TRAI's half-baked DND Services mobile app, an example of Digital India?

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched a mobile application (app) to help subscribers file complaints against unsolicited commercial communications or telemarketing calls and messages. The app is called as DND Services and available on Google App Store. The idea is good, but what came out as the end result is a typical sarkari thing and fails to work as promised. The question is when there are several good apps doing the same job, why was TRAI hell bent on re-inventing the wheel and that too without adequate trials and checks?

As per Google Play Store data and statistics, DND Services is evaluated and rated (on the scale of one to five stars, higher the better) by 38 users till writing this story. However, what it fails to mention is the total number of downloads, as is common with any other app on Google Play Store. 


In fact, the description page of DND Services app shows zero downloads! The same page also has a wrong email ID of the developer. 

Another issue with the DND Services is, it does not recognise dual SIMs in a phone and works assuming the primary SIM as the only SIM. Therefore, in case the user wants to file complaint against UCC received on secondary SIM, she would not be able to do so.


In addition, some users who have tried DND Services app complain about errors while sending complaints. Especially, TRAI or its Do Not Call (DNC) service requires the subscriber to send complaint in a typical format. The mobile app from TRAI is supposed to be able to do it with ease. But that is not the case. Some users say they have received messages pointing out error in message sending format. 
The efforts of TRAI to launch a mobile app for reporting spam or marketing calls and messages is laudable. However, when your launch such apps for mass subscribers, it require adequate field testing. Especially, since this app is being launched by the telecom regulator, and thus carries a weight, should not have launched in half-baked version. May be someone at the TRAI or the Telecom Ministry just want to impress their bosses and have launched the DND Services app without any thorough testing. But such half-baked efforts, especially from the regulator, make people vary about trying out new and useful apps.
Talking about alternates for the DND Services app, there are several mobile apps available on Google Play Store. One of the highly rated (4.6 * out of 5) is ‘India Against Spam’. It is very simple to use and does the job as promised. 
However, all such ‘do not disturb’ and ‘file complaint’ mobile apps will not help you from receiving such messages. The reason is simple, the spammers use a new mobile number every time to send spam messages. However, there is a hope. Some apps like TrueCaller or Truemessenger that work on collective feedback from users. On certain mobile handsets, TrueCaller even blocks (automatically) numbers that are marked as spam by several fellow users. However, both these apps need access to your contact information, which some of us may not like. But then this is a small compromise compared with what we can get in return instead of a sarkari app that is full of glitches.
Aditya G
8 years ago
TRAI's DND is a hopeless joke! I still get crank/spam calls.
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