A financial services company has paid a $34,000 infringement notice after telemarketing calls were made in breach of the Do Not Call Register Act.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation found that Premium Finance Services Pty Ltd engaged a call centre to make telemarketing calls on its behalf, and calls were made to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.
The Do Not Call Register Act applies to those who engage others to make calls for them as well as those who actually make the calls.
‘Some businesses may think having a contract with a call centre and relying on them to do the right thing is enough,’ said the ACMA’s acting Chairman, Richard Bean. ‘It’s not. If you use a call centre for telemarketing, you must make sure that the centre is complying with the Do Not Call Register Act.'
Organisations which fail to meet their obligations under the Do Not Call Register Act risk significant penalties.
Members of the public can opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes by visiting www.donotcall.gov.au or calling 1300 792 958. Registration is free. Even if you have an existing relationship with an organisation, you’re entitled to ask the organisation to stop calling.
For more information please see the Backgrounder below or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release 22/2016 - 3 May
The ACMA is responsible for enforcing the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, and the related Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007 and Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011.
The Do Not Call Register is established under the Do Not Call Register Act. Under the Act, Australians can enter their fixed line or mobile telephone numbers on the Register, provided those numbers are used primarily for private or domestic purposes. Any number used exclusively as a fax number can also be registered.
It is illegal for most unsolicited telemarketing calls or marketing faxes to be made to numbers on the register. Businesses have 30 days from the date a number is registered to check their call lists and stop contacting that number.
The key obligation not to make unsolicited telemarketing calls to numbers on the Register applies to both businesses which make telemarketing calls themselves, and businesses which engage a third party to make telemarketing calls on their behalf. The scheme is intended to ensure that a business can’t side-step the rules by outsourcing its telemarketing.
Some unsolicited calls are permissible, including:
- marketing calls from businesses with which the recipient has an established ongoing relationship, unless consent has been withdrawn
- calls from political parties, members of parliament, and political candidates, soliciting donations or offering goods and services
- calls from educational institutions in which the recipient is, or was, a student, offering goods or services
- calls from registered charities, soliciting donations or offering goods or services
- opinion polling and research calls.
All of these calls are, however, subject to telemarketing industry rules that limit the hours that calls can be made, require callers to enable the display of their phone number, and require callers to terminate that call upon request.
Most ‘campaign calls’ from political parties and interest groups are not subject to the Do Not Call Register rules.
The register will not stop scam calls. Australians are encouraged to be cautious when receiving any unsolicited calls and if a scam is suspected, to simply hang up.
If an ACMA investigation finds a person has breached the Do Not Call Register rules, it has several enforcement options available to it, including:
- issuing a formal warning
- accepting an enforceable undertaking aimed at ensuring future compliance – which is enforceable in the Federal Court
- issuing an Infringement notice
- applying to the Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court for a pecuniary penalty order.