Three quarters of mobile phone numbers on the Do Not Call register have yet re-register to cut out unsolicited telemarketing calls, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
In the register’s first month of operation in May 2007 some 373,000 mobile phone owners signed up for three years of freedom from unwanted sales calls as set out by the Do Not Call Register Act, 2006.
Now, with the three-year period drawing to a close the ACMA is again calling on mobile phone owners to renew their registration or risk being struck from the list.
“If you don’t remember when you registered, re-register now anyway just to be certain, as there’s nothing worse than waiting for a call or chatting on your mobile only to be interrupted by a telemarketing call,” ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said in a statement.
Several organisations have been slapped with fines and warnings for contacting some of the 4 million numbers registered on the list. GoTalk and the ACMA are entering legal proceedings over allegations the telco contacted more than 40,000 telephone numbers on the registry.
Dodo Australia was fined $147,400 — the largest in the history of the Act — in 2008 after its offshore call centres rang 67 de-listed Australian phone numbers.
Westpac received a formal warning for similar offences early last year and home insulators were threatened with $2200 fines if they added to the 400 complaints attributed to the industry by the ACMA last month.
The ACMA has also issued an alert about a viral email which warns mobile numbers will be released to telemarketers and associated mobile charges.
“While the email refers to the Australian Do Not Call Register website, it appears to have originated in North America a number of years ago and has been intermittently circulating since that time,” ACMA warns on its website. “The reference to consumers being 'charged' arises from the different charging regime for mobile calls in the USA, where often charges are incurred by mobile phone users for calls they receive. This charging regime does not apply in Australia.”
A previous version of the email did the rounds in March and April 2009. The ACMA recommends recipients of the email delete it and not forward it on to other email users.
More information can be found on the Do Not Call Register website.