DNC Registry Do-not-call List: Goodbye to unwanted calls and messages

Don’t call me, I’m on DNC Registry

In today’s digital age, large amounts of personal data are collected, used and made available to third party organisations. This growing trend is moving exponentially as large amounts of sensitive data are made available with the aid of technology. Consumers are now becoming more aware on personal data privacy and are greatly concerned with protecting their own privacy.

Since 2 Jan 2014, anyone with a local telephone number can wish to opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls or messages from organisations.

If your telephone number is on the national Do-Not-Call known as DNC Registry, organisations are not allowed to send you telemarketing messages unless you have a clear documented consent to receive messages to an organisation.

This piece of news was a sign of relief for many whom had been receiving unsolicited messages or calls from telemarketers promoting their products or unlicensed moneylenders finding new customers.

These errant companies acquire telephone databases to use for telemarketing purposes have greatly irritated consumers.

DNC Registry covers all forms of messages linked to a telephone number and these includes the popular Internet message programs such as WhatsApp, LINE and Viber.

DNC Registry Top Three Myths Debunked!

DNC Registry Myth 1:

After registering on the DNC Registry, I will immediately stop receiving unsolicited telemarketing messages.

Truth:

Registering on the DNC Registry does not mean you will immediately stop receiving telemarketing messages.

Organisations that have checked the DNC Registry before you registered can still use their list of results for up to 60 days if they did so before July 2, 2014 (and 30 days thereafter).

Therefore, you may still receive telemarketing messages from them during this period.

DNC Registry Myth 2:

If my number is on the DNC Registry, organisations can no longer send me any kinds of telemarketing messages

Truth:

Organisations may still send some telemarketing messages to you in certain specific situations.

For example, if you have already given companies clear consent for telemarketing messages, they do not have to run the checks.

A typical case would be phone numbers which have been in the form of prior lucky draw entries. Some messages are not considered telemarketing messages under the DNC requirements.

DNC Registry Myth 3:

If I receive telemarketing messages from moneylenders, I should lodge a complain to the Personal Data Protection.

Truth:

Under the Moneylenders Act, licensed moneylenders are not allowed to advertise their services via SMS or voice calls.

Instead report such moneylending SMSes or calls to:

(c) The National Crime Prevention Council’s “X Ah Long” Hotline at 1800-924-5664 (1800-X-AH-LONG); or

Companies in Post-DNC launch?

Under the Personal Data Protection Act, local and overseas organisations must check with the DNC Registry to ensure that the Singapore phone numbers that they are sending telemarketing messages to are not listed in the registry.

Companies will now have to check its call list with the DNC registry. The numbers on the its list are valid for up to 60 days if they are not on the DNC registry. After the initial 60 days, it must submit a request to check the numbers again before making a pitch on the phone, fax, SMS or MMS.

However the 60 days limit will be deducted to 30days starting from July 2014. This means that consumers who register after July 2 2014 may still receive telemarketing messages for up to 30 days.

Companies are issued 500 free credits per year to check their call lists. Depending on the type of company, a one-time fee setup costs $30-$60.

Messages that are not considered to be telemarketing

Here’s a list of the types of messages that are allowed for telemarketing purposes (adapted from PDPC)
  • Market research or market survey
  • Promotion of non-commercial programmes carried out by public/government agencies
  • Information about employment opportunities
  • Warranty information, product recall information, and safety or security information relating to a product you have purchased
  • Delivery of goods or services, including relevant product updates and upgrades
  • Business-to-business (B2B) marketing; and
  • Nuisance calls which are non-commercial in nature

Bottom-line

If you continue to receive unsolicited telemarketing messages, you can lodge a complaint with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) for investigations and enforcement. The PDPC will not hesitate to take necessary action against organisations that do not comply.

Businesses now would never want to violate the PDPA as hefty penalties are issues which is up to S$10,000 can be fined per customer complaint, and the maximum penalty is S$1 million. A single illicit phone call will destroy a company reputation.

DNC Steps

Now, are you on the DNC registry yet? DNC registration is FREE, and you can get your phone number included in any or all of the three DNC registers – for voice calls, text messages and faxes. Registrations with the DNC registry is lifetime, but consumers can easily deregister at any given time. Terminated phone numbers are also removed from the registry.

  1. Check your telephone number with the DNC Registry by visiting www.dnc.gov.sg
  2. Signup on the DNC registry by sending “DNC” to 78772 to block calls, text messages and fax messages;”DNC” to 78773 to block calls only; “DNC” to 78774 to block text messages only.
  3. Register by phone at 1800-248-0772 to block calls, text messages and fax messages; 1800-248-0773 to block calls only; or 1800-248-0774 to block text messages only.

More reading sources

Register with DNC – www.dnc.gov.sg
For more information about the Act, visit the Personal Data Protection Commission website.

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