The South Australian (SA) Division of the Liberal Party of Australia has been formally warned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for making polling robocalls during prohibited calling times. The calls were made between 6.15 am and 7.30 am on two consecutive weekdays in July 2019.
“Australians have a right not to be disturbed by these types of calls early in the morning. They can be frustrating for people who are preparing for work and school or expecting contact from family,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
Prohibited calling times are set out in the Telemarketing Industry Standard. They apply to all telemarketing and research calls, including opinion polling. Research calls must not be made on weekdays before 9 am or after 8.30 pm (or after 5 pm on weekends).
“This follows a recent unrelated breach for calling during prohibited times by Lonergan Research. In both cases, automated diallers or platforms were involved,” said Ms O’Loughlin.
“If researchers or pollsters are using these types of systems, they should carefully check settings and install fail-safes.”
In both cases, the entities publicly apologised and quickly took steps to fix the causes of calls being made outside the allowed hours.
“If we see further evidence of research calls during prohibited calling times, we may look at compliance more broadly across the sector,” added Ms O’Loughlin.
The Telemarketing Industry Standard sets out minimum obligations for all telemarketing and research calls, including prohibited calling times, information that must be provided to consumers during calls, and when calls must be terminated.
To make a complaint about telemarketing go to http://www.donotcall.gov.au/ or call 1300 792 958.
For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release 32/2019 - 25 September
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