Seniors sick of cold-calling charity collectors, survey shows

Control the calls campaign

National Seniors and consumer group CHOICE are calling for an end to unwanted phone calls asking for money.

Latest CHOICE research shows that 89 per cent of people received at least one unsolicited call in a six-month period.

Around 25 per cent of people said they received unwanted calls from charities on a weekly basis and nearly five per cent said they received such calls every day or several times a day.

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

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

  • avoiding answering their phones;
  • considering disconnecting their landlines; and
  • moving in with elderly relatives in order to protect them from unwanted and aggressive unsolicited phone calls seeking donations.

“Calls asking for money are intrusive and put vulnerable members of society at risk when they are hounded week in and week out,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

“Unfortunately consumers can’t use the Do Not Call Register to opt out of all nuisance calls, with for-profit companies’ call centres exploiting the charity exception to hound people. 

“Clearly the law needs to change to allow people to opt-out of all unsolicited calls that involve financial transactions,” Godfrey said.

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