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Telco supports restricting telemarketers

15th July 2008

Telco supports restricting telemarketers

Dunedin telecommunications company VentureVoIP Ltd today came out in support of UnitedFuture’s policy for a registry of telephone subscribers wishing to escape the reach of telemarketers. Earlier this year, the Direct Marketing Association established a voluntary registry of people not wanting calls, which they claim is working successfully.

But the CEO of VentureVoIP, Ian Lamb, said that following overseas experience, the proposed legislation will ensure industry compliance and consumers privacy.

``In the United States,’’ said Lamb, ``telemarketers face substantial penalties for breaching the privacy of people who have elected to go on a Do Not Call (DNC) list.’’ Lamb’s company has for some time been assisting international call centres to comply with restrictions placed on who they may call.

``We provide state-of-the-art software to companies all over the world, all of whom are increasingly wary of transgressing DNC registers,’’ Lamb said. He saw no difficulties in equipping New Zealand telemarketers to avoid calling subscribers who preferred not to by disturbed in their homes.

Noting the call by Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff for an end to cold-calling by call centres, Lamb agreed with her that the best solution would be the introduction of a national Do Not Call system in New Zealand; a proposal supported by UnitedFuture’s Deputy Leader, Judy Turner. But Lamb thought it would be too easy for telemarketers to claim an accidental breach in the absence of penalties.

``The kind of software we have developed means there is no reason for any call centre to be intruding on people who have opted to reject unsolicited calls,’’ he added.

VentureVoIP is New Zealand’s only end-to-end VOIP telephone company, operating its own exchanges and serving primarily business customers. It has produced a range of innovative telecommunications software products, which it sells internationally.


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