Industry Standards

There are two industry standards that set enforceable rules about how and when telemarketers, researchers and fax marketers can contact people

These standards are intended to give consumers greater certainty on the minimum level of conduct they can expect from those making unsolicited calls or sending marketing faxes.

Who do the standards apply to?

 

To any individual or organisation that makes or arranges for telemarketing/research calls to be made or marketing faxes to be sent to Australian numbers, even those not on the register. 

 

 

This means that even if a particular business, such as a registered charity, is exempt from the requirements of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and therefore able to call or fax numbers listed on the register, it must still meet the requirements contained in the industry standards.

The ACMA has a number of enforcement options available for breaches of the standards, from formal warnings to penalties of up to $250,000.

The Telemarketing and Research Calls Industry Standard 2007 applies to all voice calls made to Australian numbers that:

  • offer, advertise or promote goods, services, land, interests in land, business opportunities or investment opportunities
  • advertise or promote suppliers or prospective suppliers of such things
  • solicit donations
  • conduct opinion polling or standard questionnaire-based research.

The standard establishes minimum enforceable requirements for those making telemarketing and research calls in the following four areas:

Calling line identification

A caller must ensure that calling line identification is enabled at the time they make or attempt to make a call, or cause a call to be made.

Calling Times

Telemarketers and researchers are only able to call during the times set out below, unless the consumer has consented to being called at that time. The term ‘consent’ has the same meaning as in the Act.

Type of Call   Weekdays  Saturday    Sunday  National public holidays 
Telemarketing calls 9:00am – 8:00pm   9:00am – 5:00pm No calls allowed No calls allowed
Research calls 9:00am - 8:30pm 9:00am – 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm   No calls allowed

 

National public holidays include New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This includes any day given in lieu for these public holidays.

Terminating a call

A caller must terminate a call, or ensure that a call is terminated, immediately if:

  • you are asked for the call to be terminated or the consumer otherwise indicates that they do not wish to continue the call
  • you are made aware that the person you are calling is not at their usual residential address, the time at the person’s current location is outside of the permitted calling times, and the called person does not specifically state that they would like the call to be continued.

Provision of information during a call

Callers need to provide certain information when they call. The timing for when they need to provide the information differs, depending on whether it is a research call or other telemarketing call.

In the case of a ‘dual purpose’ call, both purposes need to be stated immediately after the call commences.

The Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011 applies to all faxes made to Australian numbers that:

  • offer, advertise or promote goods, services, land, interests in land, business opportunities or investment opportunities
  • advertise or promote suppliers or prospective suppliers of such things
  • solicit donations
  • conduct opinion polling or standard questionnaire-based research.

The standard establishes minimum enforceable requirements for those sending unsolicited faxes in the following four areas.

Allowable times for sending faxes

Fax marketers may send a marketing fax or attempt to send a marketing fax during the times set out below, unless the consumer has consented to being faxed at that time. The term ‘consent’ has the same meaning as in the Act.

Weekdays

Saturday

Sunday

National public holidays

9:00am – 8:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

 Prohibited all day

 Prohibited all day

 

Information to be provided on a fax

Faxes need to include the following information:

  • the name of fax advertiser
  • the Australian Business Number (ABN) of the fax advertiser, or equivalent business number identification if the person who authorised the sending of the fax is a foreign company
  • the contact details of the fax advertiser
  • the destination number that the fax is intended to be sent to
  • the details of how the recipient can send an opt-out message including:
    • a statement to the effect that the fax recipient may opt out of receiving any future faxes from the person who authorised the sending of the fax by conveying an opt-out message to an opt-out address 
    • an opt-out address to which fax recipients can communicate an opt-out message. 
  • The information required must be:
    • displayed in a clear and conspicuous manner
    • included on the first page of the fax at a minimum
    • displayed using a minimum size 10 font.

Opt-out facility

The fax marketing industry standard requires that a person can send to, leave at, or otherwise communicate an opt-out message to the opt-out address.

A fax marketer must have in place processes to ensure that:

  • the opt-out address provided in the fax is capable of receiving opt-out messages at all times
  • as soon as possible, and no later than 7 days, after a fax recipient has opted out of receiving fax messages, the fax recipient’s number is removed from any list of Australian numbers used by the sender.

Limit on number of faxes to be sent to a recipient in a period.

A person who sends faxes must make reasonable efforts to ensure that no more than 10 faxes, that are authorised to be sent by the same fax advertiser, are sent to a particular Australian number in any single 24 hour period.

 

 

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