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Action on spam and telemarketing Jul to Sept 2017

Formal-warning-spam and telemarketing  $39,600 infringement notice paid by Upside.Digital Pty Ltd for breaching the Spam Act 
 Formal-warning-spam and telemarketing Formal warning given to ValueAd Marketing Pty Ltd for breaching the Spam Act
 telemarketing-spam and telemarketing 10,000+ complaints about telemarketing assessed
 complaints-spam and telemarketing 263,000+ spam complaints and reports received and triaged
 business-contact-spam and telemarketing 1,027 contacts with businesses about compliance

Our current areas of focus are solar telemarketing, marketing by registered charities and consent-based marketing.

Consumer complaints and reports

Complaints and reports from Australians are a key source of intelligence to help us identify serious or ongoing compliance issues. All complaints are important and directly inform our approach to fostering industry compliance.

Spam complaints and reports*

Spam complaints and reports-Action on spam and telemarketing Jul to Sept 2017

*The spike in complaints about SMS spam this quarter is largely attributable to non-commercial messages about the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Telemarketing complaints*

Telemarketing complaints-Action on spam and telemarketing Jul to Sept 2017

*Includes complaints about alleged breaches of the Do Not Call Register and Telemarketing and Fax Marketing Industry Standards.

Action

Compliance warnings

We generally contact businesses and organisations directly about their compliance obligations where complaints are about an identifiable entity. In the majority of cases, this initial contact resolves compliance issues. Multiple complaints can lead to a single warning being issued where they concern the same entity.

Compliance warnings issued

Compliance warnings issued-Action on spam and telemarketing Jul to Sept 2017

Investigations

We may investigate where complaints or intelligence indicate there may be serious or ongoing breaches.

Investigations finalised

Investigations finalised-Action on spam and telemarketing Jul to Sept 2017

July to September investigation outcomes

Organisation Outcome Details
Careers Australia Group Limited Breach of the Spam Act Commercial electronic messages sent that did not include accurate authoriser details or unsubscribe information.
ValueAd Marketing Pty Ltd Breach of the Spam Act Commercial electronic messages sent without clear and accurate contact information. The details could only be accessed by clicking through to a survey where there was a further link to click.
A communications service provider* Breach of the Spam Act Consumer unsubscribe requests not processed due to a system error. Commercial SMSs to consumers who had withdrawn their consent. This breach concerns an area of ACMA priority compliance focus.
A construction and solar product business* Breach of the DNCR Act Business called numbers on the Do Not Call Register without consent. This breach concerns an area of ACMA priority compliance focus.
An insurance business* No breach of the DNCR Act Business had clear evidence of consent to call number on the Do Not Call Register about a number of specific consumer complaints.

*The ACMA does not generally publish the names of entities that have not breached or where enforcement actions have not been finalised.

Enforcement actions

Enforcement actions may be taken where breaches are found and may include formal warnings, accepting court-enforceable undertakings, infringement notices or Federal Court-imposed civil penalties. Enforcement actions are usually published.

July to September enforcement actions finalised

Organisation Outcome Action
Careers Australia Group Limited Breach of the Spam Act A formal warning was issued for contraventions of the Spam Act.
Upside.Digital Pty Ltd Breach of the Spam Act An infringement notice of $39,600 was paid for contraventions of the Spam Act.
ValueAd Marketing Pty Ltd Breach of the Spam Act A formal warning was issued for contraventions of the Spam Act.

Priority compliance areas

As part of our overall activity, we identify particular industry sectors or issues that require a regulatory focus. Our unsolicited communications priority compliance areas for 2017–18 are:

  • solar industry-related telemarketing
  • registered charities’ compliance with the Telemarketing Industry Standard and Spam Act
  • consent-based marketing practices.

We base our priority compliance areas on consumer reports and complaints, market research and intelligence from key stakeholders, including industry and international partners. Our compliance and enforcement work is not limited to a focus on these areas—we also act to ensure other compliance issues are dealt with as promptly as possible.

Note: Corrections were made to the figures in the graphs on 12 August 2019, specifically 'Spam complaints and reports', 'Telemarketing complaints' and 'Investigations finalised'.

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