The ACMA

Do not call register

Telemarketing standard

Understanding the DNCR rules

Overview

The rules about when and how telemarketers can contact people are set under the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017 (the telemarketing and research calls industry standard). Specifically, it includes requirements for:

  • when telemarketing and research calls cannot be made
  • information that must be provided during a telemarketing or research call
  • when calls must be terminated
  • the use of calling line identification.

The telemarketing and research industry standard applies to any person or business intending to make telemarketing or research calls, regardless of whether they are exempt from the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (the DNCR Act).

This means that even if a particular business, such as a charitable organisation, is exempt from the Act and can call numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register (DNCR), it must still meet the requirements contained in the telemarketing and research industry standard.

What is a telemarketing call and what is a research call?

Different rules can apply depending on whether a call is a research call or other telemarketing call. In general:

  • A call is a research call if one of its purposes is to conduct opinion polling or standard questionnaire-based research.
  • A call is a telemarketing call if one of its purposes is to:
    • offer to supply, or to advertise or promote, goods or services, an interest in land, or a business or investment opportunity
    • solicit donations
    • advertise or promote a supplier of any of the above.

Where a call is for a ‘dual purpose’—in that it contains opinion polling or research elements, but also has a telemarketing component—then it becomes a telemarketing call and must not be made to a number on the DNCR unless the organisation is exempt.

When can I be called?

Telemarketers and researchers are not able to call during the times below, unless you’ve consented to being called at that time. The times set refer to the time of day at the person’s usual residential address.

Telemarketing calls may only be made on:

  • weekdays between 9 am and 8 pm
  • Saturdays between 9 am and 5 pm.

Research calls may only be made on:

  • weekdays between 9 am and 8.30 pm
  • Saturdays between 9 am and 5 pm
  • Sundays between 9 am and 5 pm.

What information must be given?

Callers need are required to give you certain information when they call. The timing for when they need to provide the information differs, depending on whether it’s a research call or other telemarketing call.

In the case of a dual-purpose call, both purposes need to be stated immediately after the call starts.

Telemarketing calls

Information that must be provided as soon as the call starts:

  • the given name of the person calling (unless the call is made solely using a recorded or synthetic voice) 
  • the purpose of the call
  • if the telemarketing company is calling on behalf of another business, the name of that business
  • if the person is making the call as an employee of a company or business, the registered business name (or, if not available, another identifiable name) 
  • if the person is not making the call as an employee of a company or businessis self-employed, their registered business name (if applicable) or, if these details do not exist, a name by which the organisation or individual can be readily identified.

Information that must be provided on request, if applicable, but that doesn’t need to be provided if you don’t ask for it:

  • the contact details of the employer of the individual making the call or, if the individual calling is self-employed, their contact details
  • if the telemarketing company or business is calling on behalf of another business, the contact details of that business
  • the name and contact details of the person responsible for dealing with inquiries and complaints

Research calls

Information that must be provided as soon as the call starts:

  • the given name of the person calling (unless the call is made solely using a recorded or synthetic voice)
  • the purpose of the call
  • if the person is making the call as an employee of a company or business, the registered business name (or, if not available, another identifiable name)
  • if the person is not making the call as an employee of a company or businessis self-employed, their registered business name (if applicable) or, if these details do not exist, a name by which the organisation or individual can be readily identified.

If providing information about the employer of the caller would reveal the name of the person who caused the call to be made (that is, the caller is making the research call on the caller’s own behalf), the information about the employer of the caller it doesn’ not have to be provided at the start of the call. Instead, it should be provided either:

  • immediately, if you ask for it
  • before the end of the call, unless you end the call before that information can be provided.

Information that must be provided on request, if applicable, but doesn’t need to be provided if you don’t ask for it:

  • the contact details of the employer of the individual making the call or, if the individual calling is self-employed, their contact details
  • if the research company or business is calling on behalf of another business, the name and contact details of that business

How can I end a call?

  • You have the right to end a call and the caller must comply. Be polite but firm: ‘Thank you, but I do not wish to continue this call.’
  • You can also prevent future calls from a telemarketer. Again, be polite but firm: ‘I want to be removed from your calling list.’

What are the rules for calling-line identification?

Telephone numbers for return contact by the call recipient must remain available for at least 30 days from when the original call was made to the call recipient.

When a call recipient makes a return call to the number transmitted by CLI, he or she must be able to obtain the following information with a reasonable period of time:

For telemarketing calls other than research calls:

  • the name of the employer of the person who made the call
  • the purpose of the call
  • who caused the call to be made.

For research calls:

  • the name of the employer of the person who made the call
  • the purpose of the call.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about the DNCR and to register your number, visit donotcall.gov.au or call 1300 792 958.

Last updated: 10 April 2017

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