Are you a victim of serial unsolicited mail, phone calls and emails? Especially if you never requested to receive it in the first place?
There is a way out!
Thanks to the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) and specifically Chapter 2 thereof containing consumer’s right to privacy, you have the right to pre-emptively block unwanted direct marketing. You have the right to demand that any company that contact you retract the approach and do not contact you again.
DMASA (Direct Marketing Association of South Africa) runs a national opt-out register which is available to their members on a monthly basis. Once you are registered on this list, they should not be contacting you as this counts as a pre-emptive blocking measure.
Here is where you register on the national OPT OUT database: www.nationaloptout.co.za
There is however a difference between email subscription services and direct email marketing. If an email subscription service does not fall within the definition of “promotion” as contained in the CPA, then the delivery of this service via email will not be subject to regulations for direct email marketing under the CPA.
However, In terms of Section 45(1) the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 (ECTA) any person who sends “unsolicited commercial communications” must provide the consumer with the option to cancel the subscription to the mailing list. Furthermore, the consumer is entitled to the source where the person obtained the consumer’s personal information upon their request. Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes Sec 45(1) is guilty of an offense and liable to the penalties prescribed (a fine or imprisonment).
To summarise, this is what you do:
- Register on the DMASA opt-out register www.nationaloptout.co.za
- Should you be contacted by email and there is no option to unsubscribe, this is what you reply on record: Your Email is in contravention with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002. Your email also does not make provision to unsubscribe. If I continue to receive emails from your company, I will pursue this matter. I OPT NOT to be
contacted by your company.
- Should you be contacted by telephone, this is what you do: You ask why they are contacting you and where did they get your details. Even if it is because you are an existing customer but do not want to receive their ‘special promotions’, you request that they remove you from the marketing list. If they contact you again after that, remind them that you have requested not to receive any marketing and that their contact is in contravention of your wish to OPT OUT.
Within a couple of months, the stream of unsolicited contact will dry up so that you can attend to the phone calls and emails that you actually would like to engage with.