If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand telemarketers. It seems like they always call at the most inconvenient times. Have you ever jumped out of the shower to answer the phone, only to find out it’s someone trying to sell you new windows, insurance, or something else you don’t need? Read on, and we’ll try to help you stop these calls.
You’re probably wondering where telemarketers get your information. The bulk of the pesky callers find your information in the White Pages, but the problem is, their databases may not be entirely up-to-date. We’ve had reports of call centers using data that is over ten years old! If you are getting calls for someone who isn’t at your number, immediately inform the telemarketer that their details are wrong, and no one by those details resides there anymore. You can ask for the information source, but the chances are the person calling you, isn’t high enough up the chain to know.
When you answer the phone, refuse to provide any information until the caller has identified themselves. If the caller asks for Andrew, don’t respond “yes?”, respond “who is calling?”. Once the caller has confirmed your information, even if you ask to be opt-out, they may sell your information on to another call center.
One of the quickest ways to tell where your information has likely come from, is whether or not your first name is used. The White Pages rarely has first names available, which means, your data may have originated from an existing business relationship you have. For example, when you buy a car, the dealer might sell your data to a call center, to have them contact you about car insurance.
You have most likely heard of the Do Not Call (DNC) Register before. The register is operated by the ACMA at https://www.donotcall.gov.au/ and is provided free of charge. As of 2010, any request to be put on the register is now valid for five years. Once the five years are up, you must request to be placed on the register again. Once you are on the register, it takes 30 days before any call center is obliged to adhere to your request.
Unfortunately, there are some organizations that can ignore the DNC register. These include charities, and political callers. Typically though, these callers source your information from the phone book, so we highly suggest getting a private number from the very beginning, and Google your new number, to make sure it’s wasn’t associated with any businesses previously. We had one person with the unfortunate situation, that their “new” number, was previously used by an escort (prostitute) service, how embarrassing!
The one other issue you might run into with the do-not-call register, is that it doesn’t apply to businesses calling you, if they already have a business relationship. For example, if you are with Optus, then Optus is exempt from the DNC list when calling you, due to inferred consent.
Some of you might be wondering, why you regularly get calls from telemarketers, that instantly hang-up as soon as you answer. Generally speaking, they aren’t trying to work out when you are available, but they are trying to maximize the efficiency of their staff. What happens, is a dialer program has a list of say 1000 numbers, while the call center has only 100 staff. The dialer will try to call 20 people at a time, knowing that it’s unlikely for more than 10 to answer. Once the dialer gets an answer, it transfers the call to a live operator to make the “pitch”. Sometimes though, there isn’t an operator available because they are all on other cals, in which case, rather than putting you on hold, they hang up.
If you are getting a lot of calls from a particular number but aren’t getting through to someone to complain, you might like to try doing a reverse lookup of the number on our site. We receive regular comments from people just like you, who might just be able to tell you who is behind the calls, or where to request removal.
One of the last resorts to stop overseas telemarketers, is to request your service provider blocks all incoming overseas calls. This can help a lot, especially with scams like the ATO scam or the Microsoft scam.
So, just a quick summary for you. Don’t acknowledge your name, until the caller has identified themselves. Register on the DNC list. File complaints about telemarketers with the ACMA wherever possible. Check the phone book for your details, especially if you think your details are private, and consider getting a new number, if the telemarketers are that frustrating.