SINGAPORE - Consumers keen to avoid irritating telemarketing calls can start listing their numbers on a national Do-Not-Call (DNC) registry from Dec 2, a month ahead of the official launch.
If they make an early registration, they can expect to block unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages from Jan 2 next year, when the registry is launched.
But those who list their numbers later - after the launch - may still have to put up with 30 to 60 days of unwanted calls.
When a company checks its call list with the registry, the numbers on its list are valid for 60 days if they are not on the DNC registry - after which it must check again before making a sales pitch on the phone, through fax, or via SMS or MMS.
The validity period will be cut to 30 days from next July.
Consumers who receive telemarketing calls despite having listed their numbers on the registry can complain to a watchdog called the Personal Data Protection Commission. Yesterday, the Commission announced the registry's operational details, following public consultation.
Marketing messages sent via instant messaging apps - such as WhatsApp - to the numbers on the registry will be prohibited too.
Telemarketers found to be guilty of defying the registry rules risk a maximum $10,000 fine.