Stop telemarketers cartoon

Stop telemarketers

How to Stop Telemarketers

This is the final post in the Wonkie series about the updated Consumer Protection Act. Unless you really don’t get out much, you will no doubt have been plagued at some point by telemarketers. Be it pushy salesmen for new credit cards, insurance policies or cellphone contracts, you now, with the help of the Consumer Protection Act, have the power to push back in a meaningful way.

The remedy, in theory at least, is quite simple: the next time you receive one of those annoying sales calls, instead of raising your voice and your blood pressure, firmly request that it be the last time they call you. Additionally, you can also stipulate in advance that you don’t want to be bothered by advertisements when you sign any new contract. That’s all you need to do, in theory.

Whether this will work in practice in South Africa is another matter altogether. With the absence of a credible do-not-call registry, it is likely that this law will be one of many that will be unenforceable. Consequently, as an added assurance, ask for the name of the caller and the company’s name and address that they represent. If you do receive another call from the same vendor, note the details in a formal complaint to the National Consumers’ Commission. With potential fines of up to 10% of annual turnover, hopefully many of the more established big corporate spammers will proceed with caution:

Tel: 0861-843-384
Fax: 012-394-2558

You may also download the complaint form from the the Dept of Trade & Industries. After completing the form, mail it to:

Department of Trade and Industries
National Consumers’ Commission
Consumer Complaints
Provate Bag X84
Pretoria, 0001

Wonkie looks forward to hearing your opinion and experiences with the Consumer Protection Act and stopping telemarketers.

Click to leave YOUR COMMENT on Telemarketers and the new Consumer Protection Act.

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Have a lighter look at coaching with Wonkie’s life coaching guide. If you are really in need of anxiety or anger management, perhaps take a more serious step in the right direction and hire a life coach to help.

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In a separate note, Wonkie is sincerely sad that anti-apartheid icon Albertina Sisulu died last week at the age of 92.

Top 10 car tips article

If you’re shopping around for insurance, read Wonkie’s top 10 tips for getting cheaper car insurance in South Africa.

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For now, check out some of Wonkie’s recommended links if you’re bored or better yet, visit this alternative cartoon website for medical humour and more.

Click to leave YOUR VIEWS on telephone marketing and the Consumer Protection Act.

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  1. 10 cents says

    farewell alberta, farewell may you live forever

  2. The link for the complaints form is not working.

  3. Scorpio, Birch Acres says

    When we see “number withheld” or similar wording on the phone ID, we do not answer the call. Also if the caller gets through and says “I’m from XXX Bank, and wish to discuss your credit card with you”, either cut the call or say “I am busy in a meeting, sorry” and cut the call.

  4. notaround says

    Face it, the poor guys are only trying to do their job, which is to phone people……… it in the middle of dinner or watching the news, I try to be polite when I say no thank you. I get angry when they persist though and phoning me on my cell phone during working hours to sell me something I do not want or need and then phone back, when I say I am at work and no thank you , gets my blood to boiling point, I must admit.
    The worst is they have no telephone manners half of them. ” Hellooo, how are you ?” I mean hello, who are you?? That is no way to start a conversation when you do not know the person you are phoning.

  5. When they call ask them to hold on for a minute then put the phone down without hanging up and leave them waiting. When eventually they get fed up waiting, hang up. They soon get the message.

  6. carole Segal says

    Telemarketers don’t give up, it is a pain, but people are trying to make a living.
    What is a lot worse is when you are contacted and told that you have inherited a fortune and ask for your details, which is an absolute NO NO.

  7. Armando Pellencin says

    Wonkie, through yourself to all telemarketers and in all respect, when I get the call starting with “Hello, how are you?” I immediately ask “Who the hell are you, man? My doctor perhaps?” And then it becomes a question of “cultures”! It seems to be the culture of most telemarketers to not say “Good morning/afternoon/ evening sir, I am so-and-so etc.” No, they enquire after my health. Well! MY culture (if that is what it comes down to) is different: I want to be greeted deferently and with good manners, and I want to know, patiently and in understandable English, what they are selling. THEN, and only then, will I listen to what they say. Otherwise I just slam the phone down in the ear of an uncouth, unmannered, time-wasting and mostly unlettered b-tch who won’t take “No thanks” for an answer.

  8. The callers sometimes even know your name and surname, How wierd is that! but they do not know your age, I just tell them sorry I am a student and is short of money myself, can YOU help me?? the the quick goodbye from their end.

  9. Devlyn Fraser says

    I have two first names and go by my second name. So when anyone phones and calls me by my first name I know they do not know me. The familiarity of using a person’s first name when you have never met them is a big no-no to start with. Never mind them asking personal questions like “How are you ?”. I know they’re trying to do a job, so I think somehow we need to find a real way to retaliate to the owners of the companies employing these telecockroaches, coming into your life uninvited and unwelcome.

  10. Scorpio, Birch Acres says

    You guys have given me an idea. I am going to peruse my medical books and jot down a whole bunch of life threatening medical conditions. When I am asked “How are you?” I will answer “Well besides…and read off the list…, I am OK for a man of 98. If she is selling credit card or other insurance, she’ll put the phone down before I am halfway through.
    But I like John’s idea as an alternative.

  11. Anti-telemarketing says

    i would like to add that SA does have a Do Not Call Database, see the carteblanche article at The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) runs the database, good luck all.

  12. victor smit says

    what if I get the sms that I’ve won the lottery or my cell number were chosen for a reward?.

  13. Over the past 2 years, I have always declined being notified of any sort of marketing. Whether the offer comes from Banks, Clothing stores, anyone really. Yet I still receive at least 3 calls daily by various companies offering to sell me this, that and the other.
    Most of the time when I ask Where they got my number, they hang up. Today, someone mentioned that they bought it from the Consumer Data (then they hung up).
    Some of these companies, like RCS, I have asked repeatedly to STOP calling me and to REMOVE my details from their system. Yet, like clock work, I still receive calls daily (in fact, the frequency has actually increased)
    How can I get this stop????

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