'Do Not Call' rules: Realtor to be second person charged

A property agent from real estate firm Huttons Asia will be the second person to be charged here with breaching the "Do Not Call" rules since they kicked in on Jan 2.

The unnamed agent allegedly sent unsolicited telemarketing messages to advertise various residential property developments here to numbers listed in the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.

He will face 27 counts of violating the rules, which carry a fine of up to $10,000 per message sent, tomorrow.

The rules bar firms from marketing to numbers listed in the registry without first getting consent. More than 600,000 phone numbers are on it.

"Telemarketers looking to promote their products or services to individuals with Singapore telephone numbers must abide by the DNC provisions," said Mr Leong Keng Thai, chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission which administers the DNC rules, in a statement yesterday.

"It is a frustrating experience for individuals who have registered their numbers with the DNC Registry to continue receiving unsolicited telemarketing messages, and the commission will take enforcement action against those who continue to ignore the rules," he added.

The commission has investigated more than 3,500 valid complaints to date, while investigations into 1,700 other complaints are ongoing.

The real estate sector accounts for about half of the complaints pertaining to DNC-related offences, with the rest from sectors such as private education and retail.

Star Zest Home Tuition and its sole director Law Han Wei, 35, were the first to be charged with breaching DNC Registry rules.

Last month, Law and the agency were each fined $39,000 - or $3,000 per charge - after pleading guilty to 13 of 37 offences committed between Jan 3 and 14.

Two other unnamed organisations had agreed to pay between $500 and $1,000 to compound their offences for sending telemarketing messages to numbers listed in the registry.

The commission has also issued warnings to 900 organisations against which the public had lodged complaints.

This article was first published on September 23, 2014.
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