Australian Operator Responsible for Do Not Call Register Fined for Making Illegal Calls

Experts say that the customers of telemarketers should also be held responsible

By on January 11th, 2013 10:03 GMT

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has revealed that Service Stream Solutions, the company responsible for operating the country’s Do Not Call Register, has been fined with AU $110,000 (87,000 EUR) for making telemarketing calls to numbers listed in the Do Not Call Register.

“The ACMA investigation found the numbers were incorrectly included on a Service Stream Solutions’ calling list used during a 10 week campaign arranging installations for energy-saving products. The problem was not identified because the list wasn’t re-checked against the register. Calling lists should be checked against the register every 30 days,” ACMA noted.

In addition to the fine, Service Stream Solutions has also agreed to train its staff about their Do Not Call obligations, audit and report on the compliance of its future telemarketing campaigns, and hire an independent consultant to review its calling list processes.

While ACMA emphasizes the fact that the investigation targeted only the company’s telemarketing business and doesn’t impact the operation of the Do Not Call Register, it’s still concerning that the organization that’s meant to protect people from unsolicited calls has been found to do the opposite.

Paul Ducklin, the head of technology at Sophos, Asia Pacific, makes an interesting point regarding all this.

“Interestingly, the customers on behalf of whom the unwanted calls were made were from the energy industry - the very sector that used to get my goat the most before I put myself on the DNC Register and achieved some rest,” Ducklin explained.

“Maybe the customers of infringing telemarketers should be made to share the liability in cases like this, whether for voice, SMS or email intransigence? That way they might put more pressure on their cold-call contractors to play by the rules.”

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