Martin Lee @ Sg
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Be Wary of Giving Your Mobile Number at Property Launches

Last year, I attended a property show-flat for a new launch near my place.

As part of the viewing process, I gave my contact details to the company.

Ever since that day, I have been receiving a countless number of SMS messages promoting different property launches and related services like rental of apartments and housing loans.

Usually, I’m pretty tolerant towards receiving SMS marketing messages. But this time round, I felt that they have really crossed the line.

Each SMS will come with a “please reply UN to unsubscribe”. I faithfully do that but continue to receive SMS messages. The problem is that some of these messages were sent by individuals. The company had probably gave my number to all their agents and perhaps even sold their database to other companies.

Does that mean I have to unsubscribe to all their agents individually?

In Singapore, receiving marketing messages is on an opt-out basis. Companies have a right to broadcast their message to you unless you opt-out. I am fine with that but sometimes, it is so difficult to opt-out!

Our regulators here should put in place (and enforce) a stronger set of rules regarding permissible marketing.

Some other countries have stronger rules in place.

For example, in UAE, banks and other financial institutions are barred from cold-calling customers to market loans and investment products.

Leave a Comment:

Happy says 8 years ago


Actually receiving sms is still ok for me, because I can easily delete off. But the frastration part is those fliers that leave on my door front. Everyday I have to collect it and dump it. How can I stop all this ?

    Martin Lee says 8 years ago

    Dear Happy,

    I see some people attach a box to their window grill so that it is easier to collect all the fliers.

Robyn says 9 years ago

i had never attended and property launch all my life and lately i have been getting SMS, calls ot my mobile and even to my home number. my home number is an unlisted number and yet they have access to it and even my full name. this is very disturbing to me and stressful to me and my family. imagine a stranger knowing my full data.

shawn says 9 years ago

I actually wrote to the call center association of Singapore about this. The practice in the US is to have a national do not call list. Call centers who call anyone on the do not call list can get sued by the person for violating their privacy. this is what the executive director of CCAS said to me:

Hello Shawn, the issue is that a national do not call register needs to be supported by legislation. We have made many attempts to get the governments support on this, but so far to no avail. The best we have achieved is to invoke a code of conduct supported by some of our financial industry members, but that code of conduct is to be adopted on a voluntary basis. If you would like to write to ST on this matter, I will fully support your move, as I also am a staunch supporter of a Do-Not-Call register. Obviously, those companies who are the culprits of invading your private time, are the ones who are not interested or oppose a DNCR, as it will impact their revenue generation. In consequence, there will never be any support for such a move from our members, unless the government takes the lead and supports the invocation through hefty fines in case of companies not adhering to the DNCR. We, the CCAS will keep trying, but without the support of the people who are affected, I don’t see us gaining any headway with the government. Kind regards, Peter Gossler Executive Director CCAS

lioninvestor says 9 years ago

The number of SMS I’m receiving have dropped over the past week. This is what I did.

1) SMS promoting xxx launch came in.
2) Called up the person

Me: Hello, I received a SMS about some new property xxx. You are yyy right?
Him: Yes
Me: Which company are you from?
Him: zzz
Me: I’m getting a lot of your company’s SMS. Can you inform your company to remove me from all your database?
Him: Ok, sure I will do that (spoken very quickly).
Me: Thanks, bye.


logo says 9 years ago

I had been receiving these sort of sms starting a few years back. i am thinking of changing my mobile number if it is not too troublesome.

Pl says 9 years ago

Yes same for. Receive 3 to 5 spam SMS a week. Mostly from agents. At my office carpark there are flyer advertising database of contacts for sale. Someone have to do something about it. I’m sure the telco can set up a blacklist just like we can submit email address to be blacklisted.

    lioninvestor says 9 years ago

    PL, if you know specifically which numbers to block, there are phone apps that can do that.

Wilfred Ling says 9 years ago

The reply to “UNSUB” from the SMS span actually could make things worst as it is a confirmation that the recipient is a truly a human who reads SMS messages.

lioninvestor says 9 years ago

Interesting that this post has so many comments.

Indeed, our law here on permissible marketing is more pro-business than consumers.

For example, in the US, companies are not allowed to send unsolicited marketing emails to people. They can only email people who have opted-in (actually double opted-in) to their system.

In Singapore, it is the reverse. Companies can email you until you choose to opt-out (or surrender).

This climate makes selling of contact details a lucrative business.

Some of you are already receiving SMS on property launches even though you have not attended any property launch. You could have been the unintended victim of someone who gave a fake number.

If you ever give your contact details like what I have done, trust me, the spam will be at least 10 times worse.

sender says 9 years ago

another possibility – is it possible the mobile service providers also be involved in selling customers details to third parties who then spam our cellphones. The more spams sent out, the more the telcos collect $$.

I heard of many others who approached their respective telcos to resolve spam issues usually get no where with any help from them. They told to report their problem to police instead. Things just dingdong until many give up and live with it.

Singapore law on protection of individual privacy really sucks! big time. Sorry for losing temper, agonising for too long.

Nuts says 9 years ago

Whenever you fill in lucky draw forms or contest forms, you have greater than 50% chance for your name and phone number to be sold and re-sold for sales and marketing purposes. Becoz there is no strong personal data protection and privacy laws in Singapore. Local banks are also allowed to sell or hand over your contact details to their outsourced call centres and outsourced marketeers.

In countries like UK, France and Australia, the above will be illegal. At most you will receive call or SMS only once, and you can tell them to stop it. If they don’t comply their police will tekan them. In fact, when I was staying in Europe, their telesales people will meekly ask whether you want your contact details to be DELETED from their system. Everytime I will say YES.

In Singapore, I won’t fill in whatever rubbish contest forms. And at non-work-related exhibitions or property open house etc, I will give fake name and fake phone number.

Jasmin says 9 years ago

I have a caller ID and I dont answer unfamiliar or private numbers. As a result, I may miss out some calls but surely they are not from family members or close friends.

km says 9 years ago

me too, i never attend property launches and every month i receive few sms from them

patlim says 9 years ago

yr warning is good but comes too late for me! becos i also kenna so many sms and like kk, i do not attend any property launches. how my mobile number got circulated and to how many property agents, only God knows.

KK says 9 years ago

I do not attend amy property launches but I also recieve a lot of SMS. I do not know how they got my number.

Willy says 9 years ago

Recently I have received new property launches, but unlike you, I have never been to any property related launch/show in the last 10 years!

Even one of my colleague who never give out telephone number also get these property sms…

I have tried unsubscribing initially, but each new property ads uses a new SMS number! I just ignore them now.

Jared Seah says 9 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly!

I made this innocent mistake during early 2009 when I was exploring investing in a 2nd investment property….. Even till today, I still get silly SMS about property launches – even when I am overseas….. Ouch!

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