Two businesses have been caught out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for breaching the Do Not Call Register, with businesses warned by the regulator for being “sloppy”.
Investigations by ACMA revealed telecommunications provider Teleus and holiday accommodation deals promoter Flexi Marketing Solutions made calls to numbers on the register.
Both Teleus and Flexi Marketing have accepted enforceable undertakings from the communications watchdog, which stipulates the companies keep comprehensive records of all telemarketing calls they, or call centres, make.
Flexi Marketing has also undertaken to include a term in all future contracts with call centres requiring that they comply with the Do Not Call Register Act.
ACMA investigations manager Julia Cornwell-McKean told SmartCompany by accepting these undertakings it shows the companies are going to actively ensure they no longer call the disallowed numbers.
“When we get offered an enforceable undertaking it’s up to a business to decide what they wish to offer.”
“In the case of these businesses, they’ve guaranteed to ensure no more calls will be made to people on the Do Not Call Register and they will keep comprehensive records. This is really important because they’re going to make the records available to the ACMA whenever we want them to check they’re compliant,” she says.
SmartCompany contacted Flexi Marketing and Teleus but received no response prior to publication.
Almost nine million people have signed up to the act since it came into effect in 2007. In the past year, approximately one million more people have joined the list.
Within this time, ACMA has investigated more than 50 businesses, issued 26 formal warnings, accepted 24 enforceable undertakings and issued 13 infringement notices.
Cornwell-McKean says in the past year the watchdog has received 20,000 complaints, but generally most businesses are compliant.
“Of the ones we warn, very few end up as the subject of an investigation.”
“It’s not a new law now, but I think in these cases we’re talking about sloppiness, rather than a lack of awareness. These businesses weren’t watching things as closely as they ought to be and this is also a common thing across the Spam Act,” she says.
In April this year the register sign-up time was extended for another eight years, despite complaints about inaccuracies.
Cornwell-McKean says businesses need to actively ensure they are using the most up-to-date lists, as they’re updated every 30 days, or risk reputational damage.
“If you don’t make the calls yourself, make sure you also have control over the third party that does. Make sure you know what they’re doing and can access the calls they mark and maybe even audit them.”