TODAY, 31 Dec 2013
By Neo Chai Chin
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 The messages must provide an opt-out facility, and consumers must not have previously withdrawn consent to telemarketing.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.
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.