Are you the target of direct marketing? Do you want to block calls from direct marketers or stop unwanted calls or SMSs selling you things?

Direct marketing is the when goods or services are sold direct to the public rather than through a retailer. It is usually done through phone calls, emails or SMSs. Direct marketing is regulated by several pieces of legislation which enable the consumer to opt-out of direct marketing and block unwanted calls.

So, if you are contacted by means of direct marketing you can:

  • Refuse to accept a direct marketing communication or tell the marketer that they must not contact you again.
  • If a consumer asks the direct marketer to stop contacting them the direct marketer must comply with this request.
  • If they do not then you can pursue the matter in other consumer forums such as the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman.
  • Note that a business may send a message through direct marketing to an existing customer or if they have the customer’s consent.

Direct marketing by email

  • If a direct marketer sends you an unsolicited email you must get an opt-out option.
  • If the consumer asks the direct marketer where they got their information from the direct marketer must tell them.

How to block calls

The National Opt-Out Registry which is supposed to be created in terms of the Consumer Protection Act has not yet come into existence. So, currently if you are a consumer your best option to register with the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa here. If you are on this list you cannot be contacted by any of the members of the DMA.