Battle Looming Over Do Not Call Register

Plans to extend the national Do Not Call Register to business might seem a good way to cut down on telephone spam, but telemarketing businesses are already planning to fight the move.

The scheme proposal to extend the Do Not Call register (which already has 2.3 million Australians on it) to cover businesses (and fax numbers) might seem like one of the less controversial budget proposals, but it’s already being argued that it could be ruinous for companies that rely on telephone marketing. Simon Canning and Lara Sinclair at The Australian report that the Australian Direct Marketing Association is seeking to have the proposal canned. ADMA chief executive Rob Edwards didn’t hold back in arguing against the proposal:

The ability of people in every Australian business to pick up the phone and discuss ideas and products and services with potential customers is the lifeblood of commerce in this country.

One company likely to be affected by the plans is Telstra’s Sensis division, which produces the White and Yellow Pages (remember them?). Of course, complaints from telecommunications companies might be taken with a grain of salt; telcos are already the worst offenders when it comes to ignoring the existing consumer register.

If business customers are more likely to seek services through less intrusive means (such as, oh I don’t know, looking online), then perhaps companies should get with the program rather than just relying on telemarketing. What do you think? Is everyone entitled to protection from unsolicited telesales calls, or is it just part of the existing business culture? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sensis risk as telemarketing list expanded [The Australian]

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