Cold Calls - preventing unwanted direct marketing

Published 25/05/2004 14:46   |    Updated 05/03/2008 11:44
How do I opt out of receiving direct marketing phone calls?

BT is pleased to announce industry improvements that enable our ex-directory customers to prevent unwanted calls from marketing companies in Ireland. This service is already available to our directory customers.


Directory customers are listed in telephone directories and directory enquires services, whereas ex-directory customers are not.  


Backgound to this service

In July 2005 the Data Protection Commissioner and the Commission for Communications Regulation launched the Opt-Out register for cold calling. This allowed telephone customers, through their telephone operator, to record a preference not to receive unwanted marketing calls.  A listing of the numbers is now made available on a regular basis to marketing companies so that they can take steps to ensure that they do not call. 


The details are held in a central database called the National Directory Database, which, to date, contains only numbers in public phone books or available through directory enquiries. As an ex-directory customer, your number is not listed here, so you have been unable to register a preference.


As an ex-directory customer, your telephone number is not disclosed by us to any third party, unless you have given us permission. Some companies engaged in direct sales call every number in a range of numbers and will inevitably call some ex-directory numbers.


We, along with the rest of the telephone industry, the Data Protection Commissioner and ComReg have been trying to resolve this issue, as we believe that all customers should have the same protection from unwanted marketing calls if they wish.


Are ex-directory customers included?

Yes, your telephone number will be automatically opted-out of receiving marketing calls. With the inclusion of your telephone number in the opt-out register there will be no change to your current ex-directory status.


Your telephone number will not appear in the public phone book. It will continue to be unavailable from directory enquiries. The only change is that your telephone number (no name or address) will be part of the listing of all telephone numbers made available to direct marketers that they may not contact. 


What do you need to do as an ex-directory customer?

If you wish to have your number protected from direct marketing calls, you need to do nothing - BT will arrange this for you.


If, however, you do wish to receive direct marketing calls, you will need to do the following:

  • Go to the registration page on click here
  • If you have not already registered your account online, please do so on this page
  • Once registered, you can choose to receive direct marketing calls by going to the 'Account Administration' page


New customers ordering BT phone services online

If you are a new customer ordering BT phone service online, we will ask you to choose to prevent unwanted marketing calls or to be registered to receive them. Once your order has completed, what you will need to do is:

  • Go to the Registration page on to register your account online click here
  • Once registered, go to the 'Account Administration' page where you can choose either to prevent or to receive direct marketing calls


Recommendation from the Regulators

You should be aware that both the Data Protection Commissioner and ComReg recommend that you avail of this service.


Please tell us how we can make this answer more useful.