Monday, December 2, 2013

Telemarketers don't call me! Protect your personal data

The bunny often gets calls and SMS messages by strangers to promote their products and/or services.  If "Hi, this is so and so calling from XYZ company and you've been specially selected to take up our product trial/ low interest loan/ new insurance plan..." blah blah, sounds familiar and you hate it as much as me, you will want to read on.

The hubby and I attended a sharing session organized by omy and PDPC last Thursday on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry that kicks off today. If PDPC sounds foreign to you (as it does to me), it stands for the Personal Data Protection Commission. The commission was very recently established, at the start of this year, 2 Jan 2013. Their mission, as I quote from the PDPC website, is to "promote and enforce personal data protection so as to foster an environment of trust among businesses and consumers".

Back to the topic, how can you, as a consumer, stop telemarketing calls? How is this related to the DNC Registry? The sharing session was pretty informative and lots of questions were raised. The bunny shall attempt to summarize all that went on during the session over here...

First, the bloggers & guests were fed...
Start of the session by Janet from omy
Videos were played for better understanding of how the DNC Registry works
Q&A session was hosted by Mr. Amos Tan, Director, PDPC.
We sure bombarded him with loads of queries!
By registering your number in the DNC Registry, you opt out of marketing calls/ SMS/ fax. Unless companies have your clear consent, they are not supposed to contact you through the earlier mentioned channels. Violating companies can be fined up to $10,000. To the consumer, it means no more unwanted promotional calls; to the companies, it means less wastage of resources since you're not spamming those who want nothing to do with you.

Certain messages are exempted from the DNC Registry. They are:
  • Messages for pure market survey or research
  • Messages that promote charitable or religious causes
  • Personal messages sent by individuals
  • Public messages sent by government agencies and political messages
  • Telemarketing calls or messages of a commercial nature that target other businesses
So, if you get a call that starts off as a survey but quickly turns into a marketing gig, the caller is going against the rules, big time.

Of course, the company has to be based in Singapore for the DNC to be enforced.

In a nutshell, the DNC does not automatically block companies from calling your number. Companies have the obligation to check the list of numbers that they intend to call/ SMS/ fax against the DNC Registry and remove the numbers from their list that matches those in the DNC, unless permission has been given by the owner of the number. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to report defying companies to the PDPC for them to take action.

If the DNC Registry sounds good to you (caution: you will be blocking all promotional calls unless clear permission was given, so say goodbye to potential freebies too!), there are 3 methods to register - via DNC Registry website, SMS, or phone. Watch the video for detailed instructions on registering. Do note that there are 3 registers - no voice call, no SMS, and no fax.

While you can start to register your number(s) now, the effects of the DNC Registry will only kick in on 2 Jan 2014. You should be able 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).


  1. Glad to have this information i visited on that free registry site but they only accepting 8 or 9 digit number and in India all the number are 10 what should i need to do register my self in DNC.

  2. This service is only available in Singapore.