Before marketing to phone numbers, check first the Do Not Call Registry in Singapore
Despite statistics showing that more than 90% of Singaporeans own a smartphone, many businesses continue to rely on telemarketing and cold calling to find new clients. These organizations must adhere to data protection rules that govern the use of personal data for marketing reasons.
This guidance will assist companies in complying with the appropriate requirements, particularly if you use telemarketing operations as part of your promotion and marketing.
The Do Not Call (DNC) Registry in Singapore
In Singapore, the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry is a database where consumers may register their mobile/telephone numbers to prevent receiving unsolicited commercial messages and calls.
Marketing messages are communications that are used for advertising or promoting goods and services and vendors or suppliers of such goods and services. This includes advertising and promoting real estate or business/investment possibilities.
Messages sent for market research surveys, charity and religious reasons, or from organizations with which you have a continuing relationship, on the other hand, are exempt.
It is vital to remember that the DNC Registry regulations also apply to the transmission of telemarketing communications using smartphone apps such as WhatsApp.
The DNC Registry does not include B2B marketing calls or communications directed to other organizations. Suppose a person uses a phone number for both personal and commercial purposes. In that case, they may still lawfully accept B2B marketing calls or messages sent to their number as a business phone number.
When should you check the Do Not Call Registry in Singapore?
Depending on the organization’s outreach method, there are three separate DNC Registers for Singapore telephone numbers: voice calls, text messages, and fax.
Your organization is required by the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) to screen your call lists against the relevant registers before sending marketing messages to Singapore telephone numbers.
To acquire access to the DNC Registry, any firms who need to utilize it for screening must first register an account for a one-time cost of $30 ($60 for international corporations). To create an account for your company, go to the DNC Registry website.
Also Read: PDPA compliance for real estate agencies
Instances in which you do not need to verify the Do Not Call Registry in Singapore
Unless your organization has gotten clear and unequivocal authorization from the subscriber of that telephone number to receive telemarketing communications in a written or accessible form, you are required to check all telephone numbers before sending out telemarketing messages.
Unless your telemarketing message is excluded from the need to verify the DNC registration under the PDPA’s Eighth Schedule. Among these messages are:
- Messages delivered to those with whom you have a continuing relationship
- Messages delivered purely for the purposes of conducting market research surveys
- Messages for charitable and religious purposes
- Messages provided solely to confirm consumer transactions, provide product warranty information, or send order delivery updates.
How does an Organization Check the Do Not Call Registry?
When you arrive on the DNC Registry website, you must enter a list of phone numbers to be checked against the DNC Registry. There are two approaches to this:
1. Lookup a Small Number
You can enter up to ten phone numbers manually at once. The search results are presented instantly.
2. Filtering in Bulk
By supplying a CSV file containing a list of all 8-digit Singapore telephone numbers, your organization may verify more than ten numbers at once.
When the search is finished, an automatic SMS or email will be sent to tell you. The results will be available for download in the following formats within 24 hours:
- Filtered Numbers: This provides a list of submitted numbers as well as their status (Do Not Call/Not Registered) in each Register (voice/call/fax).
- Submission summary (quantity submitted/checked/rejected)
- On Behalf List: This list will be presented if your firm is verifying telephone numbers on behalf of another organization(s).
- Rejected Numbers: This section lists all of the numbers that cannot be processed, along with the reasons for the rejection.
All findings are valid for a period of 21 days. Following that, if your company desires to perform telemarketing operations, you must double-check your list of Singapore phone numbers with the DNC Registry.
Penalties for sending Specified Messages to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry.
It is considered an offense to send telemarketing communications to numbers on the DNC Registry without approval. Any organization that violates the PDPA’s DNC Registry rules faces a monetary penalty of up to S$1 million per offense.
For example, in 2014, Star Zest Tuition Agency was the first firm to be penalized under the PDPA for violating the DNC Registry criteria. The tuition firm was found guilty of sending unsolicited messages selling its tutors’ teaching services to phones on the DNC registry.
After pleading guilty to 13 of the 37 offenses, both the director and the Star Zest Tuition organization were fined $39,000 apiece.
Companies that participate in B2C marketing and promotions through SMS or phone calls may have extra compliance responsibilities due to the necessity to verify the DNC Registry before delivering marketing messages to Singapore phone lines.
These regulatory standards will need educating your company’s telemarketing and sales employees. To begin, your organization should open an account with the DNC Registry since this will allow you to begin budgeting for any necessary compliance fees.
If you require legal guidance on how to comply with the PDPA while marketing to Singapore telephone numbers, you should also consult a data protection lawyer.