Dealing with unwanted telephone sales calls


Cold calling means that you receive unwanted sales calls in your home from companies that you have not had any dealings with until that time. You can now register your preference not to receive such cold calls using the National Directory Database. You may still receive calls where your views are being sought in connection with market surveys.

The National Directory Database is a list of all telephone numbers contained in public phone books or available through directory enquiries.


Your preference not to receive cold calls is recorded on the National Directory Database by the company who receives a line rental payment from you. This should be done within 5 working days of you notifying them of this preference. It can subsequently take up to 28 days for this information to filter through to marketing companies who make ‘cold calls’. This register only applies to calls that are made in Ireland.

If companies persist in cold calling you

If a company makes a cold call to your home and you have registered your preference not to be called more than 28 days before you should, in the first instance, let the company know that you do not wish to receive cold calls. You can also complain to the Data Protection Commissioner.

If you are or have recently been a customer of the company who is calling you or you have indicated that you wish to get these calls these rules do not apply. A reputable company should, however, respect your wishes not to be called.

Ex-Directory Numbers

Since October 2006 ex-directory numbers can also be included in the register of those who do not wish to receive cold calls. If your number is ex-directory you do not have to register your preference not to have companies call you as it is done automatically. If you have an ex-directory number and do not want to be included in the register contact your operator to whom you pay your line rental and ask not to be included.

Mobile phones

Mobile telephone network operators have barred all direct marketing companies from making cold calls to mobile phone numbers. If you want to allow direct marketers to contact you in this way, you can call your mobile service provider and ask that your number be made available to direct marketers.


There is no charge for registering your preference not to have marketing calls on the National Directory Database.

How to apply

Contact the company to whom you pay a line rental charge and let them know that you do not wish to receive unsolicited marketing calls from companies . They will then insure that your preference not to receive cold calls is recorded on the National Directory Database.

The Commission for Communications Regulations (ComReg) provides information about dealing with cold calls on its website.

Any company who breaks the rules may face prosecution by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioners. You can read more about the Data Protection Commissioner’s requirements for making a complaint here.

Where to apply

Data Protection Commission

Canal House
Station Road

Opening Hours:09:15-17:30
Tel:+353 57 868 4800
Locall:1890 252231
Fax:+353 57 868 4757

Commission for Communications Regulation

One Dockland Central
Guild Street
Dublin 1
D01 E4XO

Tel:(01) 804 9668
Fax:(01) 804 9680

Page edited: 22 April 2015