We reported earlier this month that you could register your number with the Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry to opt out of voice calls, text messages and fax from telemarketers, but a last minute exemption order now allows companies to send text and fax messages to existing customers.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) yesterday announced a new exemption order that allows companies to send these messages to customers and members with whom they have an "ongoing relationship", without having the need to check the DNC Registry from 2nd January, 2014.
It is important to note that the exemption does not apply to voice calls, hence companies still have to check against the DNC Registry before making any calls to promote related products and services.
Possible scenarios in which companies can still reach out to customers include banks sending information via text messages on their reward programmes for credit cards, and certain promotions and discounts for subscribers of the respective telcos.
Customers still can opt out using the same communication channel by which the message is received. Once the company receives a customer's opt-out request, it must stop sending such messages after a period of 30 days.
PDPC claims it recognizes customers, not withstanding their registration with DNC Registry, may still want to receive these messages "in a minimally intrusive manner". It also received feedback from companies on their customers' expectation for such messages to be sent.
PDPC - “The exemption order provides greater flexibility for organisations to serve their customers in a minimally intrusive manner, and the DNC Registry advisory guidelines aim to help them along with respect to telemarketing,” said Mr Leong Keng Thai, Chairman of the PDPC.