- Telesales agents who phone out of the blue have long been on the list of things people find most annoying all around the world with the incidence in South Africa showing a rapid growth lately
- A recent incident where an insurance telesales consultant cold called the King of the Zulu nation brought this issue to a head locally
- Recent research has indicated South Africans overwhelmingly would like to see legislation brought to bear on this industry to prevent the incidence of spam phone calls
If you are royalty, you would think you can at least be spared the annoyance of cold calling insurance telesales consultants. However, as Briefly.co.za reported recently, even the King of the Zulu nation has had to content with this all too familiar irritation. He was even disturbed while meeting with the new ANC top 6 recently.
As reported a few weeks ago, the Zulu Royal family are seeking legal action following a recorded conversation between the king and MiWay Insurance sales person being made public rasing many questions about the safety of private information and who has access to the public’s contact details.
After the incident between Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and the S’thembiso Sithole who was trying to sell low household and furniture insurance to the monarch hit the news, a parliamentary portfolio committee called for action to be taken against the company.
This has led to an important online conversation about whether spam calling from telemarketers should be better controlled, or even made illegal in the country.
South Africa is reportedly in the top five countries in the world in terms of the amount of spam calls local consumers receive. Not really a top five placing the nation is especially proud of.
Until a few years ago, the telephone canvassing or cold calling micro-industry was rigorously controlled by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). There was even a “Do not contact” list, consumers could have their numbers put onto which meant those numbers couldn’t be called by direct marketers, however of late, with increasing mobile connectivity and less strict control over informal businesses engaging in selling to the public, this has largely fallen away.
As recently as 2015, though, telemarketers could receive jail sentences under the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) which states that it is an offence to contact people if they haven’t given permission to do so.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services released a statement saying the incident with the Zulu King was a clear violation of the POPIA, so it is hoped that this case might help to bring to an end spam callers.