Telemarketer ordered to pay penalties

Federal Court orders Getaway Escapes and its Director to pay penalties totalling $325,000

The Federal Court has ordered travel agent Getaway Escapes Pty Limited (in liquidation) and its director, Joanne Day, to pay pecuniary penalties of $325,000 in total for breaches of the Do Not Call Register Act and the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard.

‘These penalties serve as a reminder that unlawful telemarketing can have serious consequences,’ said ACMA acting Chairman, Richard Bean. ‘Businesses should never make telemarketing calls to numbers on Do Not Call Register unless they have consumer consent, and must always ensure that their (the caller’s) number can be displayed on the consumer’s phone.’

The Australian Communications and Media Authority filed proceedings in Brisbane against the company and director in March 2016, following an investigation into complaints from the public. Although neither respondent defended the proceedings, Ms Day did make submissions on the penalties to be paid by her.

On 10 June the Federal Court ordered Getaway Escapes to pay penalties of $150,000 for 5,293 telemarketing calls made to numbers on the Do Not Call Register, and a further $150,000 for making telemarketing calls between July 2013 and 18 March 2014 without displaying the number of the caller, in breach of the Industry Standard.

The Court also found that Ms Day was knowingly concerned in or a party to the company’s contraventions and ordered her to pay penalties of $12,500 for the Do Not Call breaches and $12,500 for the Industry Standard breaches.

The Court also granted an injunction restraining Ms Day from operating any business involved in making unsolicited telemarketing calls for five years, without first notifying the ACMA.

Costs were awarded against the respondents.

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