Telstra slammed by media watchdog

Telstra has had to fork over a $101,200 fine after the Australian Communications and Media Authority discovered the telco has been in breach of the Do Not Call Register.

According to the release issued by the ACMA, one of Telstra’s call centres in Australia made telemarketing calls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register.

The ACMA commenced investigations against the telco in August 2008 after continuing to receive consumer complaints despite having advised Telstra of potential compliance programs.

The investigation found that inadequate compliance systems, procedures and supervision had contributed to calls being made to numbers on the Register where consumers were not existing Telstra customers.

“The ACMA expects large businesses like Telstra to be leading the way and setting an example when it comes to compliance with the Do Not Call Register – not falling behind,’ said Chris Chapman, chairman of the ACMA.

“The market leaders in the telco industry should consider themselves soundly on notice – size and complexity are no excuse for non-compliant practice.”

Chapman identified that Telstra has been very cooperative and is trying to resolve the issues.

“Telstra has paid the infringement notice, acknowledged that there is work to do, and is now setting about fixing these issues. The ACMA appreciates Telstra’s cooperation during the investigation, and the substantial commitment demonstrated in its enforceable undertaking to improve its telemarketing practices,” he said.

Chapman reminded Australians that if they receive an unsolicited telemarketing call more than 30 days after entering their number on the Register, they should take down as much information as they can about the call if they wish to make a complaint.

“The ACMA relies on consumer complaints to identify businesses that may be making prohibited calls to numbers on the Register.”

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