Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:03

Greater protections from unwanted telemarketing calls with Do Not Call Register revamp Featured


More than 10 million members and 10 years after it was launched, the telecommunications Do Not Call Register has been strengthened with a new batch of improvements giving  enhanced protections to consumers from unwanted telemarketing.

The strengthening of the register comes from a remaking of the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard by the ACMA which provides complementary safeguards to the Do Not Call Register.

The standards have been remade to include new obligations for telemarketers to provide the name of their organisation at the beginning of calls, as well as the name of the entity on whose behalf they are calling.

The changes coincide with the release of recent research by the ACMA which showed that the overall incidence of telemarketing calls remains about the same as four years ago.  

The ACMA says there are more than 10.9 million numbers on the Do Not Call Register, including 5.6 million fixed-line numbers, 4.9 million mobile numbers and 430,000 fax numbers – and the registration of mobiles numbers is now the fastest growing.

Australians can list their fixed-line or mobile telephone numbers on the register, provided the numbers are used primarily for private or domestic purposes. And, any number used exclusively as a personal or business fax number can also be registered.

ACMA acting chairman Richard Bean says the standard contains important rules that apply to all telemarketing and research calls, including those exempt from the Do Not Call Register Act such as registered charities and political parties.

The standard specifies when calls are permitted, when calls must be terminated and what information the caller must give.

And, with these latest changes, the standard also now clarifies other provisions, including the information that must be provided to a call recipient if they call back a calling line identification number – to obtain details about the telemarketing call that was made to them.

Bean says the ACMA will be actively monitoring compliance with the new standard as well as the Do Not Call Register rules, with particular focus on whether consent has been obtained to make telemarketing calls to consumers on the register, and whether calls are made within permitted calling hours.

To list a number on the Do Not Call Register call 1800 792 958 or go to the register website.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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