Telemarketers could face a grim future with new data showing 2.3 million telephone numbers were placed on the national Do Not Call Register in its first year of existence, but the industry says the number could have been higher.
Registrations for the no-call list reached their peak last September at 140,000, but have now slowed to around 60,000 a month, a trend the industry say holds out some hope.
The Australian Do Not Call Register, which came into effect on 31 May last year, makes cold calling numbers on the list illegal, but pollsters, charities, government bodies and market researchers are all exempt from the rules.
Rob Edwards, chief executive of the Australian Direct Marketing Association, says the average 12 calls a month Australians received is one of the lowest telemarketing call rates in the world and compares well against 30 calls per month in the United States.
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“I’m surprised that the number of registrations isn’t more,” Edwards says. But he denies telemarketing firms are going to be taking a hit. “The majority of telemarketing calls are from organisations that are exempt from the register anyway.
“If telemarketers can’t use the phones anymore, they’ll just start going door-to-door, which is what we’re starting to see now anyway.”
Read more on the Do Not Call register