ACMA media release 82/2011 – 25 August
Optus is overhauling its telemarketing practices consistent with an
enforceable undertaking recently accepted by the Australian Communications and
An ACMA investigation found Optus had inadequate telemarketing compliance
systems, resulting in thousands of complaints about Optus telemarketers calling
people with numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register. Many of these
complaints came from Optus customers who had expressly opted out of receiving
Optus marketing contact.
'While businesses are able to make telemarketing calls to their customers in
some circumstances, they clearly need to respect any request by their customers
that these calls stop,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
Under the court enforceable undertaking, Optus has agreed that for two years
- Keep comprehensive records of telemarketing calls that it makes or that
are made by call centres on its behalf
- Audit these records on a monthly basis, and report back to the ACMA (so
as to give the ACMA early visibility to any problems)
- Implement robust procedures to record customers who have opted out of
receiving further telemarketing calls
The ACMA's use of enforceable undertakings to achieve better compliance with
the telemarketing requirements has proved effective over the past few years.
After Telstra gave a similar undertaking in 2009, and worked assiduously to
resolve the problems, the ACMA noted an 89 per cent fall in complaints about
the telemarketing activities of Telstra.
Members of the public can opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing
calls and marketing faxes by calling 1300 792 958 or by visiting www.donotcall.gov.au. Complaints about
telemarketing calls and marketing faxes can be made the same way. A person can
also request a business with which he or she has an existing relationship to
stop making telemarketing calls or sending marketing faxes in future.
Undertaking is available on the ACMA website.
On 16 August 2011, the ACMA concluded its investigation into Singtel Optus
Pty Ltd's (Optus) compliance with the Do Not Call Register Act 2006
The ACMA had received thousands of complaints about Optus telemarketing
calls from consumers who have registered their number on the Do Not Call
Register. The ACMA advised Optus on several occasions of these complaints and
told Optus that it should review its telemarketing practices. After the ACMA
continued to receive complaints about Optus it commenced an investigation into
Optus' DNCR Act compliance.
The majority of the complaints related to calls about Optus mobile phone
packages, made both by Optus and its call centres, and a large proportion of
the complaints were from Optus consumers who had continued to receive
telemarketing calls from Optus after indicating that they wished to opt out of
receiving further telemarketing calls from Optus. The DNCR Act allows
businesses to make telemarketing calls to its customers (including those who
have registered their number on the Do Not Call Register). Businesses must stop
making telemarketing calls to customers who elect to opt out of receiving
telemarketing calls if those customers have registered their number on the Do
Not Call Register.
The investigation found a number of general compliance issues:
- Inadequate record keeping
- Inadequate oversight of Optus' call centres
- Failure to appropriately record and action opt out requests for Optus
The ACMA accepted an enforceable undertaking from Optus that targets these
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi,
Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet,
radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to
make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more