Any business or person that makes a unsolicited telemarketing call or sends a unsolicited marketing fax to a number on the Do Not Call Register, or causes such a call to be made or fax to be sent, may be in breach of the Do Not Call Register legislation and could face penalties and enforceable undertakings.
How does the ACMA approach compliance?
The ACMA takes a graduated approach to compliance and enforcement, and any action taken is proportionate to the seriousness of the non-compliance. What, if any, action will be taken by the ACMA will depend on the circumstances of each complaint. Where the ACMA finds it has reasonable grounds to believe a telemarketer or fax marketer has breached the legislation, it has a number of enforcement options available to it.
The majority of complaints are resolved informally through education and industry engagement.
What events would be considered a breach?
The following are examples of breaches of the Act:
- making unsolicited telemarketing calls to numbers on the register.
- sending unsolicited marketing faxes to numbers on the register.
- failing to include an express provision in agreements requiring people to comply with the Act when making telemarketing calls or sending marketing faxes (for example, agreements with call centres based either in Australia or overseas).
- not complying with the industry standards.
In instances of breaches, when would pecuniary penalties be sought?
The civil penalty provisions apply to people who:
- aid, abet, counsel or procure a contravention of the Act
- are in any way, directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to, a contravention of the Act
- conspire with others to contravene the Act.
What penalties apply to breaches of the legislation?
The amount payable under an infringement notice will depend on:
- whether the contravention was by a body corporate
- the number and type of contraventions of the Act. Infringement notice penalties range up to $222,000 for each day on which contraventions occurred.
Penalties as a result of court action may be considerably higher, with a maximum penalty of $2.22 million for each day on which infringements occurred.
Contraventions of the industry standards may result in penalties of up to $250,000 for each contravention.
Penalties under the Act are civil rather than criminal.