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Do Not Call Register: information for the public


Background

The Do Not Call Register (the Register) is a secure database where you can list your numbers to avoid receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls and marketing faxes.

The ACMA is responsible for the register under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006. The Act covers telemarketing calls and marketing faxes from within Australia and overseas.

As well as the Act, there are also an industry standard for telemarketing and research calls and an industry standard for the fax marketing industry which the ACMA enforces. The industry standards establish a minimum set of requirements for all sections of the telemarketing industry making these types of calls or sending faxes. Collectively these are referred to as the 'DNC legislation'.

A number is eligible to be registered if it is:

  • used or maintained primarily for domestic purposes, or
  • used or maintained exclusively for transmitting and/or receiving faxes, or
  • used or maintained exclusively for use by a government body, or
  • an emergency services number.

Your registration lasts for eight years and numbers can be removed at any time.

To register a telephone or fax number:

Registration may not stop all telemarketing calls and marketing faxes because there are some exemptions under the Act. It may take up to 30 days from the date you register for telemarketers to check their calling lists against the register and stop calling or faxing your numbers.

Under the Act, telemarketing calls and marketing faxes are not allowed to be made to numbers listed on the register. There are some exemptions allowing certain public interest organisations to make specific telemarketing calls or send marketing faxes.

Will registering my number stop scam calls?

 

No, putting your number on the Do Not Call Register will not stop scam calls to that phone number. Always be vigilant when receiving any unsolicited phone calls to your number and if you suspect it is a scam simply hang up.

Protect your personal and financial details and never provide them to anyone calling your number you are not completely certain about. You can always hang up if you are unsure and call back using a number you have independently found on a website or phone book or bill.  

For more information about scam calls, or to report a scam call, go to the  Australian Consumer & Competition Commission’s Scamwatch website at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 1300 795 995.

 

Exemptions

Some public interest organisations are still allowed to make specific types of telemarketing calls or send faxes to your number even if it is listed on the register.

These exemptions ensure these organisations and individuals can continue to provide services to the community.

Exemptions apply to:

  • registered charities
  • educational institutions
  • government bodies
  • registered political parties
  • independent members of parliament
  • political candidates.

Market and social researchers are permitted to call when conducting opinion polling and standard questionnaire-based research calls. However, these are subject to the industry standard for telemarketing and research calls.

Consent

Telemarketing calls or marketing faxes may be made or sent to individuals who have consented to receiving calls and/or faxes, or where consent can be reasonably inferred from their business and other relationships.

Under inferred consent, people who place their telephone or fax number on the Register may receive telemarketing calls or marketing faxes from a business with which they have an established relationship. For example, a bank may contact its customers about banking products and services.

Even if a person has previously consented to receive calls/faxes, it is possible to contact the business directly to withdraw consent to receive future calls.

Other applications to the Do Not Call Register

There are four types of applications that can be made to the Do Not Call Register—register, remove, check and correct a number or numbers.

The Do Not Call Register Application Procedure Guide documents the application procedures and the information that the ACMA requires to process applications under the Do Not Call Register (Administration and Operation) Determination 2007.

See the Do Not Call Register Application Procedure Guide (Word [.docx] or PDF formats) or go to www.donotcall.gov.au for more information.

Industry standards

In addition to the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, there are requirements under the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007 and the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011.

Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007

The Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard directs when and how telemarketers and researchers can contact individuals.

Specifically, it governs:

  • the times at which telemarketing and research calls cannot be made
  • information that must be provided by the caller including their name and business the termination of telemarketing and research calls
  • the use of calling line identification.

Under the industry standard, a caller must not make or attempt to make a call on:

 

Research calls

Telemarketing calls

Weekdays

Before 9.00 am or after 8.30 pm

Before 9.00 am or after 8.00 pm

Saturday

Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm

Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm

Sunday

Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm

Calls prohibited all day

National public holidays

Calls prohibited all day

Calls prohibited all day

There is an exception to the rules where consent has been given by the call recipient in advance to receive the call during the prohibited calling hours.

The standard commenced on 31 May 2007.

More information about the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard is available.

Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011

The ACMA has made the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011, which is intended to provide the community with greater certainty regarding the behaviour they can expect from fax marketers. It is also intended to encourage best practice in fax marketing.

The Fax Marketing Industry Standard sets rules about when and how fax marketers can contact people. Specifically, it includes requirements for:

  • when marketing faxes cannot be sent
  • information that must be provided on a marketing fax
  • provision of an opt-out functionality
  • frequency that marketing faxes may be sent in a particular period to a particular number.

The standard provides additional protections for all fax users. It applies to all marketing faxes sent to Australian fax numbers, whether or not the numbers are on the register.

There is an exception to the rules where consent has been given by the fax recipient in advance to receive the fax during the prohibited hours.

The standard commenced on 4 May 2011.

More information about the Fax Marketing Industry Standard is available.

Complaints

To complain about receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls, marketing faxes, or to receive more information about the Register, the Act, or the industry standard for telemarketing and research calls, visit the Do Not Call Register website at www.donotcall.gov.au, or phone 1300 792 958.

If you continue to receive telemarketing calls or marketing faxes once your number is registered it is important to note down and provide the ACMA with:

  • the time and date of the call or fax
  • the phone number on which the call or fax was received
  • your phone service provider
  • the details of the call or fax or a copy of the fax.

The more information you can provide us about the call or fax you received, the more effectively we will be able to handle the matter.

Scam calls

The ACMA would like to draw consumers' attention to the following types of scam calls that may be made to people who have listed their number on the Do Not Call Register.

'Dial 9' holiday, and other 'unexpected prize' calls

The ACMA is aware of telemarketing calls offering unexpected prizes (often holidays), where the consumer is asked to dial another digit (often '9') to redeem the prize.

The ACMA is taking steps to prevent the businesses responsible from calling registered numbers in the future, and has sought the assistance of other regulators in Australia and overseas to help achieve this result. It is difficult for the ACMA to enforce Australian law for calls that have no link to an Australian company.

Telemarketing calls about Do Not Call Register scams

The ACMA is warning consumers about telemarketing calls that are being made to Australian consumers about various Do Not Call Register scams. Some consumers have reported receiving calls from telemarketers offering, for a fee, the 'service' of adding their telephone numbers to the Do Not Call Register. Further information about this scam is available.

Calls seeking personal information

Some consumers have received calls from individuals claiming to represent the Do Not Call Register asking for personal information in order to 'verify' the status of the consumer's registration.

Neither the ACMA, nor the Register Operator make calls to consumers to verify the status of their registration. If you would like to verify the status of your own registration you may do so by contacting the Register Operator directly on 1300 792 958 or, if you registered your number online, by visiting www.donotcall.gov.au.

The ACMA may contact consumers about its investigation of consumer complaints. In such cases, the caller will always identify themselves as calling from the ACMA and quote the reference number that was provided to the consumer at the time of lodging their complaint.

Further information

Further information about how to protect yourself against telephone and other scams is available on the Scamwatch website operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (www.scamwatch.gov.au).

Scam survey

Have you been the victim of a scam? The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce is running a survey on consumer fraud—please visit the Australian Institute of Criminology website and take a few minutes to fill it in. The results of the survey will also be published on their website. Keep checking the AIC website or SCAMwatch for further information about consumer fraud.

Consumer alerts

Enforcement outcomes

The ACMA has taken enforcement action against a number of companies that were investigated for potential contraventions of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and/or the applicable standards for a list of the action taken, please see Enforcement outcomes.

Media releases and announcements

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009–2006

Do Not Call Register media releases for 2009–2006 are available.

Register statistics

The ACMA has produced statistics on the use of the Do Not Call Register.

Last updated: 10 November 2014

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