Hit back at unwanted sales calls

What can you do when somebody contacts you about your ad on DoneDeal, not ask about buying an item but trying to sell you something else?

Unfortunately, some of our users have reported that they have been contacted by a salesperson asking them to place their ad on another website. This is something they have found annoying – and understandably so.

This practise is called unsolicited direct marketing and it is something that individuals in Ireland are protected against.

Cold calls

An example of this is if you are contacted by someone trying to sell you something – be it phone, SMS or email – at the same contact details provided in your ‘For Sale Ad’. ‘Cold calling’ and ‘unsolicited calls’ are words that are often used to describe this activity.

You don’t have to put up with it, however. Askcomreg.ie is an official website that gives broadband, phone and postal information to Irish consumers. It explains that there is a central database of numbers called the National Directory Database (NDD). The NDD also maintain a register of numbers that direct marketers are not allowed to call.

Opting out

If you have a mobile phone number, according to Askcomreg.ie, it is automatically opted out of direct marketing calls. Your landline, however, is not. If you want your landline removed from this list, you have to contact your landline rental company. A direct marketing company will have a copy of the NDD and can see which numbers they can and can’t call.

However, as direct marketers can access sites such as DoneDeal, just as anybody else can, it’s quite possible that they are phoning numbers straight from our ads and bypassing the NDD. It’s also possible you’ve used their website to sell items before.

According to the office of the Data Protection Commissioner: “If you are not on the NDD, or if you receive a marketing call on your mobile phone, you can ask the caller not to call you again for marketing purposes.” Remember it is against the law for an organisation to ignore your request.

To have your landline number removed from such as list call your phone operator’s customer service number (check your bill for that number). Tell the customer service agent that you want your phone number on the National Directory Database ‘do not call’ list.
Remember your mobile phone number is on a ‘not allowed call’ list automatically.

Make a complaint

If the calls persist you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner. The the office of the Data Protection Commissioner website says: “if you get a sales call more than 28 days after your details have been recorded in the opt-out register of the NDD, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner”.

It can investigate and prosecute the company if necessary. Use this simple online form to make your complaint.

Avoiding spam

Don’t worry about unsolicited emails or spam arising from your ad. Remember that, if you are selling an item on DoneDeal, your email address is not visible on an ad unless you place it yourself in the ad description (don’t!). Prospective buyers simply click on a link that brings them to a page where they enter details into a form – you receive this as an email. They only see your email address if you reply to them.

If you have any concerns, please contact us support[at]donedeal[.]ie. (We’ve written it funny on purpose to stop people spamming us!)

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