ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Tips on how to dodge dreaded telemarketers, spam calls and robocalls

Many consumers are fed up with the unwanted robo-calls and telemarketers.

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says that, unfortunately, the National Consumer Commission has still not created a national opt-out registry for consumers who don't want to be contacted.

There is, however, an opt-out registry run by the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA).

The only snag is that the registry is an industry-run initiative, and it’s not compulsory for companies which engage in direct marketing to be a member of the DMASA.

(Visit www.nationaloptout.org)

Knowler adds that apps such as Truecaller can help with call-blocking from spammers and salespeople.

Read: 'Yes' to a telemarketer is the same as signing a contract (and here's the catch)

Furthermore, she explains that there are laws about what time of day telemarketers can contact consumers.

Those times are:

  • From 8am to 8pm on weekdays
  • From 9am to 1pm on Saturdays
  • Not not at all on Sundays and public holidays

Debt collectors, on the other hand, are legally allowed more leeway when it comes to contacting clients.

There isn't one legal mechanism that you can use to block all spam [calls].

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Also read: Unsolicited mobile subscriptions chowing your money? Here's what to do

Knowler explains how consumers can request to be removed from databases and shares other useful advice on consumer rights and debt collectors.

Listen to the entire ConsumerTalk discussion during The Pippa Hudson Show:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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