There is no official national opt-out list, only two private ones. The other list is operated by the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA)
and contained 39 000 records when it was reported as leaked last year.
Last year the National Consumer Council (NCC) decided against appointing the DMASA's list as the official list, after many South Africans wrote to the NCC, expressing their concern with the conflict of interest in giving a group of direct marketing companies control of the national opt-out list.No state list, funding lacking
The NCC estimates the cost of building its own opt-out service to be in the order of R5 million and so far has taken no action to build an opt-out service because of funding constraints, leaving the process in limbo and leaving citizens without the protections against direct marketing, as defined in the CPA.
Should the NCC recognise the TrustFabric list as the official national out-out list, direct marketing companies will be legally forced to check if a number is on the opt-out list before they are allowed to phone or SMS people.
The company never shares any contact details with marketing companies, but rather lets them upload a batch of numbers they plan to contact and filters their lists based on user preferences.Free service
It submitted a proposal to the NCC to operate the national opt-out list last year. The service is free for all citizens and was developed without any costs to government. After the recent rapid growth in opt-out registrations, it will again approach the NCC to appoint its list as the official national opt-out list.
"We have registered about the same number of users in 10 days as the DMASA's service managed to do in five years. It is clear from the numbers that people are frustrated with spam. By making our opt-out service more accessible, using Mxit and mobile phones, a much wider group of citizens are now able to block direct marketing," says Joe Botha, CEO of TrustFabric.
"We are very happy with the rate at which users are joining the service. Mxit users have proven to be very passionate supporters of good cause," he concludes.
For more, go to www.trustfabric.com