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Nuisance phone calls

Sick of being pestered by unwanted phone calls from pushy traders? You’re not alone. We regularly get complaints from consumers about the constant stream of cold-calls from telemarketers flogging everything from air conditioners to vacuum cleaners.


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One member recently wrote to us complaining about repeated calls from a house-washing company. Despite being told not to call again, the company kept phoning.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any foolproof methods of stopping these pesky organisations. But there are steps available to minimise calls.

The Marketing Association operates a “Do Not Call” register, which is free for consumers to join. However, registering with the service won’t stop nuisance calls altogether or scammers. It will only stop companies that belong to the association.

To add yourself to the register, visit www.marketing.org.nz/Services/Do_Not_Call and complete the online form.

Another option is to contact your phone company and ask for your number to be removed from the White Pages and made confidential. Bear in mind, this may mean genuine callers can’t track you down.

Australia has an official “Do Not Call” register. It’s illegal for telemarketers to call any number listed on the register. In 2012, one telemarketing company earned a $110,000 penalty for breaching the rules. Similarly, in the UK telemarketers can’t legally call a number registered with its Telephone Preference Service. But there are no telemarketing laws here.

If you’re being plagued by cold-calls, you don’t have to engage with the salespeople. Just hang up the phone!

Find out more about nuisance phone calls here.