The U.S. is hardly the only company plagued by bad telemarketing players. These are individuals who do not observe a nation’s rules on outbound calling, fail to comply with do-not-call lists, place calls to cell phones without permission, or ignore mandated calling hours.
In Australia, the Do-Not Call Register Act was passed in 2007. Since then, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has investigated more than 50 businesses for violating the rules, given 26 formal warnings, accepted 24 so-called “enforceable undertakings” and issued 13 infringement notices. Most of these actions were taken in response to complaints from the public.
Thus far, the highest penalty has been paid by Australian telecom giant Telstra (News - Alert). In 2009, the ACMA found “inadequate compliance systems, procedures and supervision had contributed to calls being made to numbers on the [do not call] Register where the consumers were not existing Telstra customers,” according to the agency. The company was hit with an AU $101,000 fine.
The most recent groups to be slapped with action are telecom services provider Teleus Pty Ltd and vacation promoter Flexi Marketing Solutions Pty Ltd. Action against both companies – the ACMA secured an enforceable undertaking against them -- was taken for making calls to numbers on the Do-Not-Call-Register.
The ACMA said it’s an example of what can happen when a company does not use rigid compliance techniques to ensure they are not breaking any laws.
“Businesses using an external call center for telemarketing must make sure that the center is checking its call lists against the Do-Not-Call Register before any telemarketing calls are made,” said the agency. “They should also audit each call center to ensure that it is only calling numbers that are not listed on the Do-Not-Call Register.”
The ACMA’s Do-Not-Call Register contains over nine million names. According to the Web site, WhaTech, given Australia’s population, this means outbound telemarketing is not particularly feasible without prior consent from customers or prospects.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson