#
Talk to our Consultant now on 0415 171 998

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

The Responsive Website Design Specialists
Follow us on

The Business Guide to Reducing Nuisance Calls from Telemarketers

Hold the phone! Did you know that 51% of people in Australia have received an unsolicited marketing phone call in the last 6 months? Or that 36% of these people complained that the calls took place at inappropriate times?

Telemarketing seems to be the bane of our lives, both in our personal life and our business world. They interrupt our day, distract us from our work and are just plain annoying.  So we know exactly what we are talking about here - telemarketing/fax marketing include calls:

  • Selling goods or services
  • Selling tickets in a competition
  • Selling land or an interest in land, business or investment opportunities
  • Offering credit arrangements
  • Offering anything ‘free’ that is dependent on you spending money
  • Offering free use of a product or service with an option of a financial subscription or purchase later
  • Soliciting donations
  • Even calls to determine if you want to receive telemarketing calls in the future

So what can you do to stop these maddening calls from people you don’t know and don’t ever want to know?

First, let’s look at the legislation around this issue and then at some concrete steps you can take to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive.

Australia: Do Not Call Register Act 2006

This Act was established in response to community concerns regarding the intrusiveness and inconvenience of telemarketing phone calls in Australia. Its main purpose was to establish the Do Not Call Register - with breaches of this Act dealt with as civil penalties or injunctions. This Act makes it illegal for Australian or overseas telemarketers (or fax marketers) to contact a number listed on the register.

The Do Not Call Register is a way to opt out of receiving most telemarketing calls. You can enter a number of emails and telephone/fax numbers on this register, making it illegal for telemarketers to use these contact details for unsolicited calls.

You need to be aware though, that this will not prevent all unsolicited spam telephone calls and faxes to these numbers, it only prevents legitimate businesses calling you.

The Act also does not prevent certain other businesses from making marketing calls – these are known as non-exempt Australian or overseas telemarketer or fax marketers and include:

  • Registered charities
  • Government bodies
  • Registered political parties and candidates
  • Independent members of parliament
  • Educational institutions

So it is still legal for market researchers to call you, even if your number is listed on the Do Not Call Register, as long as they are included in the above non-exempt categories.

Another point to note is that you can still receive telemarketing calls, even if you are on the register if you have previously given them your inferred consent. This means that you have an existing relationship with that business, such as a club or a bank or you have subscribed to a service. The only way to prevent these calls is to contact each business and tell them that you do not want to receive any more of these calls in the future.

You can join Do Not Call Register here.

If you believe that you are receiving spam calls, you can report these at the Australian Consumer & Competition’s SCAMwatch website.

You can find out more about the enforcement of this Act, breaches and penalties here.

There are also two industry standards that set out how exempt and non-exempt telemarketers can contact you:

Australia: Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007

This Standard directs when and how telemarketers can contact you, the information they must give you and their use of caller ID.

Specifically, research calls and telemarketer calls are limited to the following times (unless you have given your consent otherwise):

  Research calls Telemarketer calls

Weekdays

After 9.00 am and before 8.30pm

After 9.00 am and before 8.30pm

Saturday

After 9.00am and before 5.00pm

After 9.00am and before 5.00pm

Sunday

After 9.00am and before 5.00pm

Calls prohibited at any time

National public holidays

Calls prohibited at any time

Calls prohibited at any time

Note: information taken from www.ACMA.gov.au.

Australia: Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011

This Standard provides similar information as the previous Standard for telemarketers, but also includes information regarding the maximum number of faxes that can be sent within a set time period (no more than 10 in any 24 hour period) and the information that must be included in the fax.

Fax marketers are limited to the following hours of operation:

  Fax Marketers

Weekdays

After 9.00 am and before 8.00pm

Saturday

After 9.00am and before 5.00pm

Sunday

Calls prohibited at any time

National public holidays

Calls prohibited at any time

 

You can find out more information about this Standard here.

So if you are receiving annoying telemarketer calls – what can you do?

  1. Make sure your phone numbers are included on the Do Not Call Register (it can take up to 30 days for this to be activated).
  2. Ask any subsequent callers to remove your numbers from their mailing/calling list.
  3. Report the calls as spam to the Australian Consumer & Competition’s SCAMwatch website.

If you are still receiving calls – how do you respond?

  1. Don’t hang up: If you hang up before you talk to them they will log your call a ‘no answer’ and reschedule your number for another call. If you hang up in mid conversation, they may also call you back because you became ‘disconnected’.
  2. Don’t become angry or abusive to them: If you do this they will most probably add you to the ‘recall list’ – just to annoy you.
  3. Don’t reschedule the call: Telemarketers will readily reschedule the call if you are busy – so don’t do it if you are not interested.
  4. Don’t interact with them: The last thing you want is a conversation with a telemarketer, so don’t even go there.
  5. Tell them to stop calling: The best way to end calls from a persistent telemarketer is to tell them to place your number on the do not call list. Don’t ask them – tell them to do it. No conversation, just a plain statement of fact. If you say that you don’t want any more calls, they will try and engage you in a conversation about that – so just repeat the one sentence – ‘Put me on your do not call list’.

If you put all of these steps in place, you should dramatically reduce the number of annoying telemarketer calls you receive, both at home and at your business.