Control the Calls

Elderly woman on phone using credit card

Australians are receiving an enormous amount of unsolicited calls, many of them asking for money. Why can’t we stop people calling us?

The ‘Do Not Call Register’ lets you opt out of receiving some calls, but there are exceptions for charities and organisations that you might have an ‘existing relationship’ with. You could still be hounded with calls you don’t want to receive.

Our research found that 25% of people are receiving an unwanted fundraising call each week.

Sign the petition calling for changes to the Do Not Call Register to make it a more effective way for people to say no to nuisance calls.

It’s your phone – you should have control over who calls you.

Do you feel like you’re being bombarded with unsolicited calls? You’re not alone. CHOICE research has found that:

  • 89% of people received at least one unsolicited call in a six-month period
  • 25% of people receive unwanted calls from charities on a weekly basis
  • nearly 5% of Australians receive unwanted calls from charities to a landline on a daily basis.

Older Australians are particularly vulnerable to the barrage of calls. Often more reliant on landlines and more likely to be home during the day than younger groups, they may also feel reluctant to hang up on or abruptly fob off a caller collecting charity donations.

“We are hearing from our members that the calls are making them anxious and they are reluctant to answer the phone,” says National Seniors Chief Executive Officer Dagmar Parsons.

National Seniors collected stories from older Australians affected by unwanted calls from charities, and found that people are:

  • avoiding answering their phones
  • considering disconnecting their landlines
  • moving in with younger relatives in order to be protected from unwanted and aggressive unsolicited phone calls seeking donations.

“We found that calls from charities, and the for-profit marketing businesses that represent them, make up the bulk of unwanted calls,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

“Of course charities need to be able to raise funds to survive but when the nature of the fund raising verges on harassment, it’s bad for the charities and the community they are set up to serve.

“For-profit marketing companies like Mondail, Insight Charity Fundraising Services and 2evolve are making money from this loophole in the Do Not Call Register – it’s time to clean up this mess and give consumers an option to opt out of any call that asks them for money.”

The Do Not Call Register is a free service where consumers can securely register their home, mobile or fax numbers for free to reduce unsolicited telemarketing calls. You can sign up at https://www.donotcall.gov.au/