The Do Not Call Register is expected to be operational by 31 May 2007.
For a business, the core obligation is not to make an unsolicited
telemarketing call to a number on the Register and ensure that any agreements you make to outsource telemarketing comply with the Act (Sections 11 and 12).
If a number is not on the Register, a business may call it provided the business (or its provider) complies with the telemarketing standards.
What’s a telemarketing call?
A telemarketing call is a voice call to a telephone number, where, having regard to:
(a) the content of the call; and
(b) the presentational aspects of the call; and
(c) the content that can be obtained using the telephone numbers, URLs or contact information (if any) mentioned in the call; and
(d) if the telephone number from which the call is made is disclosed to the recipient (whether by calling line identification or otherwise)—the content (if any) that can be obtained by calling that telephone number;
it would be concluded that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the call is:
(e) to offer to supply goods or services; or
(f) to advertise or promote goods or services; or
(g) to advertise or promote a supplier, or prospective supplier, of goods or services; or
(h) to offer to supply land or an interest in land; or
(i) to advertise or promote land or an interest in land; or
(j) to advertise or promote a supplier, or prospective supplier, of land or an interest in land; or
(k) to offer to provide a business opportunity or investment opportunity; or
(l) to advertise or promote a business opportunity or investment opportunity; or
(m) to advertise or promote a provider, or prospective provider, of a business opportunity or investment opportunity; or
(n) to solicit donations; or
(o) a purpose specified in the regulations.
The Regulations exclude the following from the definition of a telemarketing call:
- product recall calls;
- fault rectification calls;
- appointment rescheduling calls;
- appointment reminder calls;
- calls relating to payments;
- solicited calls (eg returning a call for information); and
- calls not answered by the person to whom the call is made.
Schedule 1 of the Act defines designated telemarketing calls which are also exempt from the prohibition in section 11 (but not the telemarketing standards). These are calls made by Government bodies, religious organisations and charities, political parties, independent members of parliament, candidates and educational institutions.
Even if a telephone number is not registered on the Do Not Call Register, telemarketers will have to comply with the new Telemarketing Standard.
The standard applies to:
- all telemarketing calls made to an Australian number
to offer, advertise or promote goods, services, interests in land,
business opportunities or investments, or to solicit donations
- all research calls to conduct opinion polling and to carry out standard questionnaire-based research, and
made for the above purposes by public interest entities (such as
charities, registered political parties, and religious organisations)
who are exempt from the general prohibition on calling numbers listed
on the Do Not Call Register when making specific types of telemarketing
The standard establishes minimum standards in four main areas:
1. The standard provides clear and
enforceable rules including restrictions on hours of calling. A caller
must not make or attempt to make:
- a telemarketing call on a weekday before 9 am or after 8 pm
- a research call on a weekday before 9 am or after 8.30 pm
- a telemarketing or research call on a Saturday before 9 am or after 5 pm
- a telemarketing or research call on Sunday or a nationally recognised public holiday.
2. Under the standard, contact
information and the purpose of the call must be provided by the person
making a telemarketing call as well as revealing, on request, the
source from which the caller obtained the telephone number.
3. The standard requires the caller to
terminate the call where the call recipient asks for the call to be
terminated or otherwise indicates that he or she does not want the call
4. The caller is also required to ensure
that calling line identification is enabled at the time that the caller
makes or attempts to make a call