You know those annoying calls from marketing people? Turns out the callers could be committing a crime. When asked, the public suggested that Hong Kong authorities should lay criminal charges against telemarketers.
Last Thursday the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau suggested some other ways to deal with the problem. These include telemarketing companies agreeing to stop such promotions, and call-filter apps for smartphones which can block certain numbers. The bureau also suggested setting up a do-not-call register. If telemarketers call you and your number is on that register, they could face charges.
The government is focused on stopping nuisance calls because of a recent case. A hospital called a woman 17 times, trying to get permission to do surgery on her husband after he was hurt in a car accident. But she ignored the calls because she thought they were from a telemarketer.
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Hong Kong has a do-not-call register that protects people from computer calls, but companies are still allowed to phone anyone if they use an actual person instead of a recording to make the call.
Victoria Shanghai Academy’s Katii Tang, the first runner-up at this year’s SCMP Student of the Year (Sportsperson) award, told Young Post that cold calls are out of control in the city. “Cold calling is a waste of the salesperson’s time,” said the 15-year-old. “Perhaps they should spend more time on other advertising techniques.”
Young Post junior reporter Angelina Wang, 15, from Chinese International School, says even making telemarketing illegal would not stop cold calls. “What if they are from overseas? It’s not easy to figure that out, so I prefer filter apps,” said Angelina.