Telemarketing & fax marketing FAQ | ACMA

Telemarketing & fax marketing FAQ

1. Why register my phone number or fax with the Do Not Call Register?

The Do Not Call Register allows you to greatly reduce the amount of unwanted telemarketing calls and marketing faxes you receive. Telemarketers and fax marketers are required by law to stop contacting you once you're on the register. However, some public interest organisations can still contact numbers listed on the register (see question 6). This ensures these organisations can continue to provide valuable services to the community. If you have an existing relationship with a business, it can still contact you, but you can advise them you do not wish to receive telemarketing calls or marketing faxes from them in the future.

2. Can I register my business phone number or a fax number?

You can list your number if it is:

  1. used or maintained primarily for domestic purposes or

  2. used or maintained exclusively for transmitting and/or receiving faxes or

  3. used or maintained exclusively for use by a government body or

  4. an emergency services number.

3. 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 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.

4. How soon after I register will I notice a reduction in calls and faxes?

If you have registered your phone or fax number(s) for the first time, it may take up to 30 days for telemarketing and fax marketing agencies to recognise your registration and stop calling or faxing your number(s).

5. What if I change my mind? Can I take my number off the Do Not Call Register?

Yes, you can remove your phone number at any time by:

  1. calling the register operator from the phone number you want to remove or

  2. by writing to the register operator with your request.

Your phone number will be removed automatically if you contact the register operator by phone on 1300 792 958, or within a few days if it is in writing to the Do Not Call Register, PO Box 42, North Melbourne VIC 3051.

6. Can market and social researchers call or fax numbers on the Do Not Call Register?

Market and social researchers are permitted to call or fax numbers on the Do Not Call Register to conduct opinion polling and standard questionnaire based research. If such calls or faxes include a commercial-type purpose, even if it is not the primary or sole purpose of the call or fax, it will fall within the definition of a 'telemarketing call' or 'marketing fax' and cannot be made or sent to a number on the register.

7. What exemptions apply under the Do Not Call Register legislation?

The following calls or faxes can still be made or sent under the Do Not Call Register legislation:

  1. Where individuals have agreed or requested to receive calls or faxes. This is express consent and only lasts for three months unless specified for a different period. Consent can be terminated at any time.

  2. Where individuals have an established business relationship with an organisation and consent can be reasonably inferred from that relationship. For example, it would be reasonable for an individual to expect a call from the bank they have a current account with or their electricity supplier. This is inferred consent and it can be terminated at any time.

  3. Public interest calls or faxes including calls or faxes from:

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

    8. What is telemarketing?

    Telemarketing is the act of contacting consumers via telephone to offer, sell, advertise or promote goods or services. Telemarketing calls may include:

    1. calls offering to sell goods or services

    2. calls to sell tickets in a competition

    3. calls requesting the recipient to attend an information seminar

    4. calls offering to sell land or an interest in land, or a business or investment opportunity

    5. customer satisfaction calls that have the intention to solicit sales

    6. calls that offer free goods as part of, or in conjunction with, overall sales campaigns

    7. calls for credit arrangements

    8. calls offering anything for 'free' that is conditional on expenditure

    9. calls for the purpose of determining whether or not further telemarketing calls from the organisation are welcome

    10. calls offering free use of a product for a set period with an option for financial subscription/purchase afterwards

    11. calls to solicit donations.

    Calls that are not considered telemarketing calls are:

    1. product recall calls

    2. fault rectification calls

    3. appointment rescheduling calls

    4. appointment reminder calls

    5. calls relating to payments

    6. solicited calls

    7. calls not answered by the person to whom the call is made.

    9. What is fax marketing?

    Fax marketing is the act of contacting consumers via fax, to offer, sell, advertise or promote goods or services. Marketing faxes may include:

    1. faxes offering to sell goods or services

    2. faxes to sell tickets in a competition

    3. faxes requesting the recipient to attend an information seminar

    4. faxes offering to sell land or an interest in land, or a business or investment opportunity

    5. customer satisfaction faxes that have the intention to solicit sales

    6. faxes that offer free goods as part of, or in conjunction with, overall sales campaigns

    7. faxes for credit arrangements

    8. faxes offering anything for 'free' that is conditional on expenditure

    9. faxes for the purpose of determining whether or not further marketing faxes from the organisation are welcome

    10. faxes offering free use of a product for a set period with an option for financial subscription/purchase afterwards

    11. faxes to solicit donations.

    10. What are the industry standards?

    All telemarketers and market researchers are required to comply with the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017. This standard was developed to set minimum levels of conduct for the telemarketing and market research industries. It provides clear and enforceable rules in four main areas:

    1. the hours during which telemarketing and research calls may be made

    2. information that telemarketers and researchers must provide to the people they call

    3. circumstances in which telemarketers or researchers must terminate calls

    4. the enabling of calling line identification.

    All fax marketers are required to comply with the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011 (fax marketing industry standard), which was developed to set minimum levels of conduct for the fax marketing industry. It provides clear and enforceable rules in four main areas:

    1. when marketing faxes cannot be sent

    2. information that must be provided on a marketing fax

    3. opt-out functionality

    4. frequency that marketing faxes may be sent in a particular period to a particular number.

    11. Who manages the Do Not Call Register?

    The Do Not Call Register is managed by the ACMA.

    Last updated: 03 April 2017