SpiderGate FAQs

SpiderGate FAQs

These are the categories of the FAQs on this page:

  • Using SpiderGate
  • SpiderGate for Mobile Users
  • SpiderGate & SMS Usage
  • SpiderGate & Landlines
  • SpiderGate & the DNC Registry

Please read them to understand how SpiderGate works and how it helps you.

You may also download a PDF version of the FAQs herepdficon_large.30230357

Using SpiderGate

What is SpiderGate?

SpiderGate is a Do-Not-Call Management System that complements your telemarketing efforts. It works by automatically checking and filtering out telephone numbers from your company’s centralized blacklist and the DNC registry with minimal disruption to your marketing calls, SMS and faxes to your prospects.

How do I as a user get access to SpiderGate?

The SpiderGate license has to be first purchased at the company level before it can be accessed by users. Refer your company to www.spidergate.com.sg for more information on SpiderGate.

If your company has subscribed to SpiderGate, you will be given an account and instructions will be provided to you to activate it. If you are using SpiderGate to make phone calls on your existing smart phone, you will be instructed to download an application to your smart phone to be used every time you make a sales or marketing cold call. SpiderGate supports the following mobile operating systems – iOS and Android.

How do I use SpiderGate to do DNC checks on my/company’s behalf?

When you subscribe to the SpiderGate service, you will immediately have access to a full range of communication tools from Hoiio, the telco partner of Straits Interactive that lets you call or SMS to individuals. Every time this happens, SpiderGate automatically checks the DNC registry in the following ways:

  1. Mobile phone – you can make calls automatically without having the need to manually check the DNC Web site
  2. SMS blast – you can send single text messages from your phone or bulk messages by uploading a csv file of your contact database from your desktop or tablet device and have SpiderGate do the automatic checks for you
  3. Landlines – you can configure your office phone lines to bar any calls made to telephone numbers listed in your company’s blacklist or the DNC registry.
  4. Fax* – you can send faxes from your desktop or tablet device and have SpiderGate do automatic checks for you (*to be available in early 2014)
How much does the SpiderGate subscription cost?

If you are an end user and your company subscribes to SpiderGate, the listed subscription price per year for using SpiderGate is S$240. Note that your company may subisidize the fee for you.

For corporate users, you will need to first purchase the SpiderGate Telemarketing or Enterprise Edition. Please contact us at sales@straitsinteractive.com to get a quote.

What SpiderGate solutions are available to my company?

There are two versions available – Telemarketing edition for mobile users and the Enterprise edition that caters for both mobile users and those using office landlines.

The telemarketing edition is ideal for those who have a mobile sales force where SpiderGate will automatically check your company’s centralized blacklist of contact numbers as well as the DNC registry.

The Enterprise edition is recommended for call-centres or for those who make sales or telemarketing calls from landlines.

Any calls made to numbers which are blacklisted will be barred. Both versions are supported by a Compliance Module that provides an audit trail of communications for the Data Protection Officer (DPO) in the case of a DNC breach.

Do I/my company still need to register with the DNC website if I am using SpiderGate?

No, Straits Interactive will do it on behalf of your company.

How are companies using SpiderGate? What are some of the best practices?

SpiderGate is especially popular with companies doing telemarketing or telesales activities such as those in the real estate, financial services, SPA, etc. They are concerned that if their associates make unauthorized calls or breach the DNC rules, their company will be implicated as these associates represent their company’s brand. As it is, companies find it difficult to share blacklist or suppression list among the mobile sales force. Now, these companies have the responsibility to ensure the DNC registry is checked every time a prospect is contacted.

SpiderGate customers often require all their sales force or mobile users to use SpiderGate in all their telemarketing activities. By providing a suite of communication tools which automatically do DNC checks, they therefore indemnify themselves against any DNC breaches. A few companies even build the indemnification forms into the SpiderGate registration.

Will SpiderGate work on my home phone?

No. SpiderGate only works with mobile phones and office landlines.

SpiderGate for Mobile Users

How does SpiderGate work on my mobile phone?

When your company subscribes to SpiderGate, you will be required to download the Hoiio application which embeds the SpiderGate service into your smart phone. SpiderGate is compatible with the following mobile operating systems: iOS and Android. Once you have the Hoiio application installed and configured on your smart phone, you can make calls directly or send an SMS to any individual. SpiderGate will then check your company’s blacklisted contacts and the DNC registry automatically. You do not need to log in to the DNC website and do manual checks with the registry. Note that subscription and usage charges apply.

What does my SpiderGate monthly subscription cover?

Your SpiderGate subscription gives you access to automatic checks against your company’s blacklisted numbers as well as the DNC registry. You enjoy bulk rates of 1.07 cents per DNC check. Note that checks against your company’s blacklisted numbers are free. In addition, your subscription entitles you to enjoy cheaper rates for your mobile calls (3.4 cents vs 16.1 cents from your existing telco operator) as well as significantly lower rates for international calls. Your text messages are charged at 4.5 cents per SMS. For more information, see: www.spidergate.com.sg.

How much does it cost to do a DNC check on SpiderGate?

All users of SpiderGate will get a bulk discount of 1.07 cents per check for Bulk Filtering or Small Number Look Ups, regardless of how many checks that you do. Note that according to the PDPC website, to enjoy checks at 1 cent, you will need to buy S$10,000 worth of credits.

If you are using SpiderGate to call or send SMS, the checks are free. Usage for call (3.4 cents/min) and SMS (4.5 cents/SMS) applies.

Please note that there is a fair use policy of a maximum of 10,000 checks per day.

How long does it take SpiderGate to check the DNC registry when I make a call with the SpiderGate/Hoiio application?

It takes about 5 seconds for the SpiderGate application on your mobile phone to check a number against the DNC registry. If a telephone number already exists in our server, then it would be much faster.

Will I be charged again for a number which I recently called, SMS or faxed that was submitted for DNC checking previously?

There is no duplication of costs. Unlike the DNC registry which charges for each number checked, regardless of whether the number has been submitted before, SpiderGate does not charge you if a contact number was recently checked against the registry via the Hoiio communication tools. This saves you time from having to manually check against numbers you have previously contacted, providing that checks are within the validity dates.

What if I use SpiderGate and the contact has already given me permission to call? Will I still be charged?

Before a call is made on your mobile phone, SpiderGate will give you the option to do the DNC check or bypass and make a call directly. Hence you will not be charged. Do note that if you choose to bypass a certain number, you will need to ensure that you have clear and unambigious consent from that individual to be contacted.

How is it that when I use SpiderGate to do the DNC checks, I also save money on my phone calls?

When you make a call using the Hoiio-SpiderGate application on your smart phone, you will initiate the call from Hoiio’s server which does the DNC check for you. At the same time, Hoiio uses its own call-back technology which is cheaper than the standard telco rates.

When a call is placed through the SpiderGate service and the Hoiio application on your smartphone, does it use VOIP (voice over IP)?

No, your call is connected via the GSM network. You do, however, have the option to make calls though the Internet to achieve an even lower call rate as long as you have a good wifi connection.

SpiderGate & SMS Usage

How does SpiderGate work if I want to send text messages?

The SpiderGate service lets you send SMS message either:

  1. directly on your mobile device (note that you will need to have the Hoiio-SpiderGate application installed on your smartphone), or
  2. from your desktop, notebook or tablet (where you can use a SMS-marketing facility to do a SMS blast to multiple individuals)

In both cases, SpiderGate will automatically check your company’s centralized blacklist as well as the DNC registry on your behalf. You will be alerted should any of the telephone numbers appear on either one or both of the blacklists. However, you will be given an option to bypass the numbers if you do have valid reasons to do the blast or have clear and unambiguous consent from your SMS list.

Note that depending on your company’s licensing arrangement with Straits Interactive, a monthly subscription fee of $16.05 per month may be charged if you want to use the premium SMS marketing service to broadcast to multiple individuals.

What if I want to use my own free SMS to send a text message?

The SpiderGate service does not currently allow users to use their free SMS messages that come bundled with their telco plan.

However, should the user prefer to use the Telco’s free SMS, the user could therefore leverage on his/her phone’s existing SMS function (which is out of SpiderGate provision). Use of SpiderGate DOES NOT DISABLE ANY of the mobile phone’s function, it merely provides the user with an added feature for callback services complete with a DNC check.

How much does it cost to send a SMS on the SpiderGate/Hoiio platform?

Each text message is charged at 4.5 cents per SMS.

Will I be able to manage my SMS campaigns using the SpiderGate service?

The SpiderGate service is integrated with the SMS premium marketing application offered by our partner, Hoiio. The application offers all the standard features that are bundled with a standard online SMS marketing services available in the market such as campaign management, dashboard reports, recipient groups, unsubscribers, etc. It also allows your SMS recipients to unsubscribe via a web link or using IVR (interactive voice response) if you are a corporate subscriber.

Will SpiderGate check the DNC registry each time I send SMS messages?

You will be given an option to bypass SpiderGate before sending SMS text message(s). Do note that if you choose to bypass a certain number, you will need to ensure that you have clear and unambigious consent from that individual to be contacted by you.

Will there be a DNC charge for contacts that I previously sent SMS messages to?

No, SpiderGate keeps track of contact numbers which have been submitted to the DNC registry prior to the SMS being sent. If a number is in the DNC registry, or a check has been done, assuming that the results are still within the validity period, there will not be a charge. So there is no need to keep track of previous checks and worry about duplicate charges as the SpiderGate server monitors this for you.

How do I manage an “unsub” for my SMS activities? Must I manually remove it?

SpiderGate allows your SMS recipients to unsubscribe via a web link or a IVR (interactive voice response) if you are a corporate subscriber, which will be embedded in your text message. If an individual unsubscribes from your lists, the respective telephone number will immediately be blacklisted in your company’s centralized blacklist. Other sales persons or users who subsequently contact that individual will be alerted that the number is on a blacklist, therefore helps avoid a situation of an upset individual.

SpiderGate & Landlines

Will the call-barring (landline) feature of SpiderGate work with analog phones in my office? If so, what are the costs?

SpiderGate is optimized for IP phones. However, you have option to integrate your PBX phone with our SpiderGate technology. We will help you source for a vendor which can do this for you. Note that additional costs will apply.

There will be two kind of charges: usage costs (which is similar to your existing landline rates) as well as DNC charges@1.07 cents per call.

How long does it take to implement the SpiderGate solution for my office landlines?

If you are using an IP phone, it will take 1-2 days. However, if you are using a PBX phone system, it can take any time from up to 1-2 weeks depending on how many PBX systems you have, in which locations as well as your vendor support.

Can I do a proof of concept to ensure it really works?

Straits Interactive will first determine the compatibility of your phone system. We will then work with your vendor for a POC.

What if I call somebody who has already given me consent from an office line protected by SpiderGate? Do I have an option to bypass?

Unfortunately, for phone lines that are not dedicated to a specific person, it would be a risk to allow a bypass. Your company telephone line will be displayed on the call and you will have no idea who made the call.

In early 2014, we will make available a white list facility for you to preload contact numbers of 1) individuals you frequently call or 2) have given you clear and unambiguous consent, which prompts the SpiderGate system to bypass proactively.

What if multiple individuals within my company call the same individuals? Will there be duplicate charges for the DNC checks?

There will not be duplicate charges, providing your company has a single consolidated account with Straits Interactive where all charges of all users will be billed to that account. In this case, there will not be a duplicate charge if an individual has been recently contacted by another caller within your organisation. Therefore, SpiderGate saves your company money by not submitting a number to the DNC registry (providing that the entry already exists in the SpiderGate database).

Note, however, that this may not be the case if users are paying for their own usage such as insurance or real estate agents. You will still be charged for the DNC check even if another sales person had previously contacted the same number. This is because to maintain a spirit of fairness where one sales person may SMS blast to thousands of contacts, it will not be fair to these heavy users who bear the cost of the DNC checks to subsidize for others.

SpiderGate & the DNC Registry

How long does it take for SpiderGate to do a DNC check and how does it connect to the DNC registry? How does SpiderGate connect with the DNC registry since the Government has not made any API available or allow external integration?

SpiderGate connects to the DNC registry and does the checks in the same way a user would if he or she were to manually log in to the DNC site. The Personal Data Protection Commission does not provide an ability for any service to directly integrate with the DNC website. In SpiderGate’s case, imagine us using our technology to do the submission on your behalf without the need of an application programming interface. It logs directly into the DNC site and it takes us about 5 – 10 seconds to do the checks. The returned results are then stored on our server with the validity dates to be referenced for future checks.

Every time a number is contacted via a call, SMS or fax, SpiderGate checks our internal server first if the telephone number is still within the validity period, after which it will then access the DNC web site to get the latest results.

What if SpiderGate fails to work? Who will be responsible?

Note that Straits Interactive will not sell SpiderGate to any company that does not have a PDPC compliance framework in place. In the case of a breach or a complaint, both Straits Interactive and the company will be asked to assist in the investigations.

Straits Interactive and its partner will strive to ensure maximum uptime (with minimum availability of 99.5%). In the case of an outage, we will immediately cease our services and notify users at once. All SpiderGate users will then be asked to stop using SpiderGate in the interim and manually use the DNC website for checking until the SpiderGate service resumes.

What if there is a breach or DNC rules by users within a company that uses SpiderGate? What if there is a complaint against an organisation that uses SpiderGate? What happens?

Before implementing the SpiderGate service, please note that all companies are required to have a PDPA compliance framework in place. We will not sell the SpiderGate service if your company does not have a data protection and privacy policy in place. (Straits Interactive provides PDPA audit and legal services. We recommend that you contract Straits Interactive to help your organisation be PDPA compliant).

Once SpiderGate is configured for use within your organisation, all users should be instructed to use SpiderGate in all their telemarketing or telesales activities as part of your company’s data protection policy.

Should there subsequently be a DNC breach, the Data Protection Officer can use the Compliance module in SpiderGate to provide an audit trail of blacklisted telephone numbers that were previously contacted by users. Your DPO will be able to enter a specific telephone number, and the module will provide results of all communication activities against that number (who contacted the individual, when the call was made, what communication methods were used). This allows your DPO to assist PDPC in the investigations.

If the telephone number of the complainant is not found in the SpiderGate system, it means that the user did not use any of the SpiderGate communication tools, and therefore has breached your company’s policy.

How does SpiderGate assist Data Protection Officers? What does it do?

SpiderGate provides the following that can be used by the DPO:

  1. The SpiderGate Compliance Window. This can only be accessed by the Data Protection Officer. No other unauthorised user will have access to it. It provides a status of whether a telephone number is on the 3 DNC registers (Call, SMS, Fax) as well as the company’s own contact blacklist.
  2. Blacklist management (for the company’s centralised blacklist)
  3. User management (to add and remove users)
How does SpiderGate store the DNC information after a check is made with the registry? What about validity of the check?

After SpiderGate does a check with the DNC registry, it will store the respective validity dates in our own server. Every time a call or SMS is made to a specific contact telephone number that already exists in our list, we will reference it against the respective user or company account. Hence, if the number is already on the existing DNC list or is within the validity date, SpiderGate will not access the DNC site and do a repeat submission for the respective context, therefore saving costs.

Will there be a duplicate DNC charge if another SpiderGate user within the same company previously contacted a specific number? If another user previously did a DNC check on a specific number on my organisation’s SpiderGate, will I get charged again?

This depends on the context of usage. If you are a real estate or insurance agent, you will still be charged for the DNC check even if another sales person had previously contacted a certain number. This is because to maintain a spirit of fairness where one sales person may SMS blast to thousands of contacts, it will not be fair to these heavy users who bear the cost of the DNC checks to subsidize for others.

However, if it is in the context of a company which users SpiderGate’s call barring services, there will only be a single charge, if a number already exists in the registry and the result is within the validity date.

Will users of SpiderGate within an organisation be able to see each other’s phone numbers or contacts? Will my company see what I have uploaded for SMS or see the contact in my phone book?

No, the company will not be able to see any of your contacts. Neither will the company’s data protection officer be able to see a list of any contacts. Note that our partner is an IDA-licensed telecom provider and is subject to the Telecommunication Act. However, should there be a breach, we will be required to provide the relevant transaction to assist in the investigation.

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