DNC exemption order aimed at serving consumers’ interests

TODAY, 31 Dec 2013
By Neo Chai Chin

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The exemption order only applies when there is an ongoing relationship with a customer, such as through membership or subscription. The messages must also relate to the subject of the ongoing relationship, and voice calls are not allowed. The messages must provide an opt-out facility, and consumers must not have previously withdrawn consent to telemarketing.

Providing an example of the exemption, the PDPC said a telecommunications company may send a message offering discounts for a new subscription to a mobile phone customer when his subscription is expiring. But it may not message the customer to subscribe to its pay-television service, for instance.

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The PDPC also said it is not in businesses’ interests to abuse the scope of the exemption order, as consumers can opt out of all future messages using the opt-out function businesses must include in the SMS or fax. Those who flout the rules also face penalties of up to S$10,000.

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