In brief - Companies need to be wary of breaching the Do Not
Substantial fines have been issued for breaches of the Do Not
Call Register since it was established in 2007.
Establishment of the Do Not Call Register
The Do Not Call Register was set up by the Federal Government
under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 in order to
control the number of unwanted telemarketing calls received by
people at home. The Act prohibits unsolicited telemarketing calls
and marketing faxes to numbers registered on the Do Not Call
An Australian number is eligible to be entered on the Do Not
Call Register if it satisfies any of these criteria:
It is used or maintained primarily for private or domestic
purposes or for transmitting or receiving faxes
It is used or maintained exclusively for use by a government
Some public interest organisations are exempt from the
prohibition on calling numbers on the Do Not Call Register. For
example, charities, political parties, educational institutions and
religious organisations are allowed to make calls to numbers listed
on the register to ensure that they can continue to provide
services to the community.
Prosecution of FHT Travel for multiple breaches
In June 2011, the Federal Court found that Queensland
telemarketing company FHT Travel Pty Limited and its sole
director Yvonne Earnshaw breached the Do Not Call Register
Act 2006 by causing more than 12,000 marketing calls to be
made to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register. FHT Travel was
ordered to pay a fine of $120,000 and restrained for a period
of five years from making telemarketing calls without first
ACMA actively pursuing companies for breaches
While this is not the first company to be reprimanded for
breaching the Act, it is the first court penalty obtained by ACMA
against a telemarketer. Businesses are now warned that breaches of
the Act may result in substantial civil penalties and injunctions.
To avoid a breach of the Act, businesses wishing to make
telemarketing calls or send marketing faxes must wash their contact
lists against the Do Not Call Register. Numbers on the register
must not be called.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, commented that the penalty imposed
by the court "should remind telemarketers of the serious
consequences of breaching the Do Not Call Register Act" and
that "telemarketers must respect the choice of people who have
opted out of receiving their calls."
ACMA's website notes that since the commencement of the Do
Not Call Register in May 2007, "ACMA's investigations have
resulted in payment of nine infringement notices to the value of
$438,300. In addition, 18 undertakings, enforceable in the Federal
Court, have been accepted, and the ACMA has issued 10 formal
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