Stopping annoying telemarketers

telephone operator

The Do Not Call Register is a great idea that was developed by the Australian Government where you can safely list your personal phone numbers to opt out of receiving unwelcome and unsolicited calls and marketing faxes. On this register you can list your home, mobile or even your fax number (if you’ve still got one of those) to reduce telemarketing calls.
Business numbers are unfortunately not eligible for registration, but business numbers that are primarily used for transmitting or receiving faxes may be registered.
It costs absolutely nothing to register your numbers and once it’s done the clock is on as ALL telemarketers after 30 days from registering must stop calling you.

When you can complain

If you find any of the following is happening you can lodge a complaint:

  • Your number has been on the Do Not Call Register for more than 30 days and you receive an unsolicited telemarketing call or marketing fax
  • You receive a telemarketing call (even if your number isn’t on the Do Not Call Register):
    • before 9 am or after 8 pm on weekdays
    • before 9 am or after 5 pm on Saturdays
    • anytime on a Sunday or a national public holiday
  • A sales or telemarketing caller refuses to give you information about the organisation responsible for the call, or how the caller obtained your number.

You can make a complaint by using the online complaint form or call the Register on- 1300 792 958.

What about charities, politicians and people conducting surveys?

phone on headMany calls to solicit donations are made by, or on behalf of, charities. These organisations are permitted to call numbers listed on the register. That being said they are not allowed to hassle you or engage in high pressure conversations about their cause. If you don’t want to talk to these people just let them know as politely as possible as by law they must then terminate the call. If they persist simply hang up. You also have the option of lodging a complaint if they have been particularly rude… or are becoming repeat offenders.

Survey and research people also are allowed to call you but take a look at the list below and make sure you get all their details if you want to participate. However don’t give them any of your personal or financial information even if they tell you it is required. Surveys and research people shouldn’t need anything more than your sex, age and postcode. Any information asked beyond that should light up lots of warning bells!

When can research and survey people call?

There are slightly different times that apply to when these people can call. Under the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standards they must not make a research or survey call on weekdays before 9am or after 8.30pm; on Saturday and Sunday before 9am or after 5pm.
Jeepers by law they can even call you on Sunday!
But don’t forget if you don’t like what you hear or ain’t interested they must by law terminate the call as soon as you request it. If they don’t and continue to annoy you hang up and consider lodging a complaint  about them.

The rules they must follow

If you don’t want to register or perhaps you love receiving calls day and night from market researchers and telemarketers, you should take a look at what rights you have in regards to these calls:

standards-image-2Will registering my number stop me from receiving SMS Marketing?

No, registering you mobile number will not prevent you from receiving SMS marketing.

What about scam callers?

Many people receive calls from people claiming to represent the phone company, your bank or even the tax office. Or perhaps they might be ringing to advise you of an unexpected inheritance or lottery win. These calls are 99.9% of the time scams and are often made by people who are not based in Australia. I have personally lost count of the number of Indian and African sounding scammers that have called my own home. Many are aggressive in tone and very demanding.

Unfortunately, registering your number with the Do Not Call Register will not prevent you from receiving phone calls or faxes related to scams.
The best people to call if you want to report a phone scammer is Scamwatch.

Try and get as much information about them as they will offer and keep details of the time they call and any number that appears on your phone relating to them. Don’t divulge to any suspicious callers any personal or financial information about yourself.
As my Grandad would say, if it sounds too good (or bad) to be true, run for your life!