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Telephone Spammers

If you are routinely harassed by telemarketers (usually selling insurance or cellphone contracts), you may be interested to know that many of the companies you have accounts with (Woolworths, Edgars, Nedbank, FNB, etc) share your details with other members of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association of South Africa) to freely harass you as they please. When threatened, these telesales cretins will tell you that they got your number off the ‘National Consumer Database’… Now, any logical person would imagine that they would have to give permission for their details to appear on this database, but because of the way the current Act (section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, Act 25 of 2002) is worded, anyone can place you on any list so long as they are prepared to tell you where they got your info and remove you from their list if you so request. So instead of simply ‘not opting in’, we need to ‘opt out’. In order to stop these companies from giving away our contact details, we need to register on the ‘no contact list’. Once you have registered on these opt-out databases, members of these organisations are required to run their list against the Opt-Out register and if your contact details are found, they need to remove you from their list. If they continue to harass you, you can take legal action. The guys at ETL say you should ask for the following information from the telespammer:
  1. Date and Time of the call.
  2. Physical address and Contact Details of the Call Centre.
  3. Full Name of the agent who called You.
  4. The Name of the client (E.G. Cell-C or Virgin etc.)
  5. Lastly ensure that you ask to be removed from both the Call Centre’s own contact list and most specifically the CLIENTS contact list.
If you are a company owner reading this and you have a telesales department, please realise that if you have a decent website, customers will contact you and you won’t have to stoop to cold calling them. Innocent readers, if you have any more legitimate opt-out lists, or creative ways of making a telespammer quit and decide to get a real job, please let us know.
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