Rushing what seems to be a million things and suddenly your phone rings. It’s an unfamiliar number – to answer or not to answer? It could be someone important… maybe someone from the group you’re going to meet… maybe more info on a project your working on?
A thousand things tucked under one arm, files and folders experts balanced in the other… you manage to hit the answer button through sheer skill and cradle the phone between your shoulder and head only to hear:
“Would you be interested in a loan? Everyone needs money…”
“We have this great new credit card… it pays YOU!”
“We have this great time share plan… we just need your time to share”
And you get so frustrated and pissed that you just want to slam the phone down – but you can’t – because then you drop everything.
That’s one of the biggest drawbacks of a mobile phone – the ability to slam the phone down on someone – without the obvious financial implications. Maybe just settle for pressing the ‘End Call’ button really hard….
But this has happened to me so many times that it’s not funny anymore….. only thing is …. aaaand i just received a call for a bank because i’ve been “specially selected” to receive a loan…. i’m not kidding… as i’m typing this… I just received a call… this is now officially a real-time update!So…. if you are like me and have just had about enough of telemarketing calls…. get yourself registered on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry launched on 2 December 2013.
Get your number off the list of tele-marketers can be done through any of three simple steps:
You can find the list and more detailed registration instructions here.
According to the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), you should expect to stop receiving unsolicited telemarketing messages 30 days after registration (if you register on or after 2 July 2014) and up to 60 days after registration (if you register before 2 July 2014). Registrations with the DNC Registry do not expire. However, you can choose to deregister at any time. Terminated numbers will also be removed from the Registry.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI2NDAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzNjAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZ3d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20lMkZlbWJlZCUyRmpOVGpGc0VPZVI0JTNGcmVsJTNEMCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==
Consumers now have the flexibility to decide if and how they want to receive telemarketing messages. This also means consumers have a greater role to play in protecting their own data. The PDPC will monitor market developments and ensure that the DNC Registry benefits individuals and organisations. – Mr Leong Keng Thai, Chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC)
Registration does not mean that you’ll never receive unsolicited calls again… it just means that telemarketers are supposed to check the list…. and not call you if you haven’t given prior consent.
But how will DNC registry affect Tele-marketers? Will it reduce the customer base? Or will it allow them to focus attention, and time spent, on calling potential customers that might be more responsive to calls and filter those that are unreceptive to begin with?
UPDATE: Exemption order for Do Not Call Registry
The PDPC recognises that consumers, notwithstanding their registration with DNC Registry, may wish to continue receiving information from organisations which they have ongoing relationship with, in a minimally intrusive manner, via text or fax messages. The PDPC also received feedback from organisations on their customers’ expectation for such messages to be continued to be sent to them.
Hence the exemption has been introduced to allow organisations to send only text or fax messages on related products and services to customers and members with whom they have an ongoing relationship, without the need to check the DNC Registry. Without this exemption, individuals may miss such messages from their favourite brands if they are registered with the DNC Registry.
A bank, for example, would be able to send its existing credit card holders SMSes about related services, such as a rewards programme for credit card holders.
The exemption, which does not apply to telemarketing through voice calls, requires organisations to inform customers on how they can unsubscribe to messages using the same delivery channels. Once they opt out, organisations have up to 30 days to stop sending such messages to them. Failing which, the organisation would be in breach of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and the PDPC will take enforcement action against offenders.
The exemption does not apply where there is no ongoing relationship (e.g. membership, subscription) between the organisation and the individual, or if the message is not about the subject of the ongoing relationship (e.g. marketing a wholly different product with no link to relationship). To clarify, a one-off transaction will not be sufficient to establish an ongoing relationship between an organisation and an individual. For example, the fact that a customer left his telephone number with a retailer to be contacted on the availability of the product may not be considered an ongoing relationship.