One of the few things we are all too familiar with is unwanted phone calls from telemarketers. Soon, this will be a thing of the past.
Starting January 2 next year, a national Do-Not-Call registry will be launched in Singapore for people to list their numbers. Once your number is listed on the Registry, telemarketers will be prohibited to call you for any sales pitches.
Any telemarketers who wish to do any sales pitch on the phone or through fax, SMS or MMS, he or she would have to check the number against the registry. Those who defy the rule risk a maximum $10,000 fine, should the consumer complain to a new watchdog body called the Personal Data Protection Commission.
Marketing messages sent via instant messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, to the numbers on the registry will be prohibited too.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a report by Channel NewsAsia, the telemarketing pool in Singapore could shrink by 50 per cent or more.
Tan Shong Ye, head of PwC’s head of Singapore IT risk and cyber-security practice, said: “The Do Not Call regulation will fundamentally change the telemarketing industry, in that telemarketers would have to think of how to make telemarketing messages enticing and attractive, so that consumers will provide the required consent. In other words, telemarketing will move from the ‘push’ model to the ‘pull’ model.”
But some analysts said this will not spell the end of the telemarketing industry.
Ajay Sunder, senior director of telecoms (Asia Pacific) at Frost & Sullivan, said: “Once the registry is opened up, there’ll be a segment of the population which will register themselves, but within the first few months, that number will typically plateau off.”
The registry is currently undergoing trial testing for consumer registration. All actions performed will be recorded as trial testing. Actual registration will be available from 2nd December 2013 onwards.
Of course, the new registry is well received by some netizens:
— alvin tan (@3rdeye_blind) November 12, 2013
— Raj (@GodInSg) November 12, 2013
Singapore is getting a Do Not Call registry. Finally, an escape from relentless spammers & credit card marketers! http://t.co/gutPOsYRVA!
— Anna Hamill (@AnnaHamill) October 7, 2013
— Hayley ? (@adorabubblez) October 1, 2013
Really really looking forward to Singapore's Do Not Call registry. http://t.co/mpq6caw0VP Also who names themselves Pius?? Are you a pope??
— Joel (@Joel_Koh) October 21, 2013