Getting them to stop calling

The NZ Marketing Association operates "do not mail" and "do not call" registers, available free to consumers (not businesses). If you don't want to receive cold calls from telemarketers, your home contact details can be added to the list.

The Association's 500 members use the list to find out who doesn't want to be called. But it's not foolproof - you'll still get calls from companies that aren't members of the Association. There are similar schemes set up overseas.

To use the NZ Marketing Association registers (available only to consumers, not businesses):

  • Visit the Marketing Association website and add yourself to the 'do not call' and 'do not mail' lists.
  • Email the Marketing Assocation service with your full name, home address and home telephone number.
  • Or write (with your full name, address and telephone number) to Do Not Mail and Do Not Call Registers, Marketing Association, P O Box 47681, Ponsonby, Auckland.

Dealing with problems

First, try to resolve the matter with the company concerned - put your complaint in writing. If this doesn't work, write to the Association with supporting material and keep copies of all correspondence relating to your complaint: it will help resolve disputes involving members and, sometimes, non-members. There is no fee.

Complaints the Association receives about New Zealand telemarketers usually relate to lack of communication and the late or non-delivery of goods. These can often be resolved.

You can also take a complaint to the Disputes Tribunal. But, if the company was based overseas, you're probably out of luck.

Your legal rights

If you think a telemarketer has treated you unfairly, or misled or deceived you while you were buying a product, you have protection under the Fair Trading Act and can complain to the Commerce Commission.

If the telemarketer sends you goods that are faulty or aren't fit for the purpose you bought them for, that's a breach of the Consumer Guarantees Act and you're entitled to a refund.

The Door to Door Sales Act might also apply if you were cold-called and invited a sales rep to your home. This Act lets you get out of a credit contract for up to seven days after you've signed it - but it depends on what you bought and how much you spent.

If you gave out personal information about yourself for one purpose and it's been used for another, you have grounds for a complaint to the Privacy Commission. You can also complain if you think an organisation has information about you but won't let you see it.

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