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4 September 2018

Nuisance calls plaguing consumers

We're calling for the establishment of an official Do Not Call register.

Seven out of 10 consumers have been on the receiving end of unwanted phone calls from companies shilling everything from pay TV to vacuum cleaners in the past year.

An unlucky 30% are getting nuisance calls at least once every fortnight, a Consumer NZ survey has found.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said people are fed up with answering the phone to sales reps pushing products.

“Not surprisingly, most people who get these calls aren’t happy about it. Four out of five said they disliked receiving these calls and wanted them to stop,” Ms Chetwin said.

The survey also found 59% of consumers had been phoned by a charity asking for a donation in the past year.

Ms Chetwin said the majority who get these calls want charities to stop phoning. However, your options for stemming the flow of unwanted calls are limited.

“While there are the industry-driven ‘Do Not Call’ and ‘Do Not Mail’ registers, our findings show these schemes are falling well short of the mark,” she said.

The schemes are voluntary and only some companies use the registers so there’s nothing stopping others from hounding you. They also won’t stop scammers.

Across the Tasman, the government stepped in and set up an official Do Not Call register. It’s illegal for any company to call a number listed on this roll. In May 2018, a double-glazing company was fined A$25,200 for calling numbers on the register.

Consumer NZ wants a similar register established here.

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