- POSTED: 30 Sep 2013 22:14
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Consumers can start listing their numbers on the Do Not Call Registry from December 2 and expect unsolicited marketing calls to stop as soon as a month later.
SINGAPORE: Consumers can start listing their numbers on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry from December 2 and expect unsolicited marketing calls to stop as soon as a month later, in January 2014.
That is when the new Personal Data Protection law begins to kick in.
Unsolicited marketing calls may soon be a thing of the past, once the Do Not Call Registry is ready.
Listing your phone number on it is free, and it will remain in the registry until the number is cancelled.
Starting December 2, consumers can do this on the DNC website, through SMS, or over the phone.
And by January 2 next year, businesses will have to check that your number is not on the registry before they can send you any unsolicited marketing messages. These include messages sent through smartphone messengers like WhatsApp.
However, there are exclusions -- organisations do not need to check the registry if they are making purely service calls, like reminders for an appointment.
The same goes for calls made for market research or charitable causes. Business-to-business marketing calls are similarly exempted.
Businesses that have proof of a consumer's consent to be contacted also need not check the numbers.
This means consumers will have to go back to the companies they have given consent to if they wish to be removed from their marketing lists.
The Personal Data Protection Commission finalised the business rules of the registry on Monday, after a public consultation in May.
Leong Keng Thai, chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission, said: "I hope businesses look at this positively from the point of view that this will allow them to be more focused in their marketing activities -- so that they know that when they make calls to consumers, these are consumers who do not mind."
For a one-time S$30 registration fee, local businesses can open a DNC account to check the phone numbers. For foreign organisations, the fee is S$60.
The account comes with 500 credits every year which can be used to check 500 numbers. Each phone number costs one credit to check.
Mr Leong said: "SMEs told us they probably need a little bit more free calls (credits) as a buffer for them. So we've increased the free calls (credits) from 350 to 500. We have also reviewed some of the charges on a per-use basis."
Beyond 500 numbers, checking against the registry will cost between one and 2.5 cents per number.
More details are available on the Personal Data Protection Commission website.