Star Zest Tuition agency and its director Lam Han Wai were fined a total of S$80,000 yesterday (Aug 27) for breaching the Do Not Call Registry requirements. They were the first be charged for this, after pleading guilty to 13 of 37 charges. Anyone found guilty under the Personal Data Protection Act could be fined up to S$10,000 on each charge. Lam and Star Zest were fined S$3000 on each charge.
Between Jan 2 and April 2, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) received a total of 405 complaints from 313 people, who said they had received messages from the tuition agency despite registering their telephone numbers with the DNC Registry. Star Zest was set up in 1999, and provides middleman services, matching private tutors to students. It advertises its services through telemarketing activities. At the time the offences were committed, it had 12 staff, five of whom were based in Singapore and the rest in the Philippines.
Under the Personal Data Protection Act, companies have been banned since Jan 2 from sending marketing messages to any number listed on the registry without first getting the owner’s consent.