Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Amazing impudence: Telstra fined for phoning 'do not call' list

TELSTRA has been fined more than $100,000 by the Federal Government after it admitted making unsolicited phone calls to numbers on the 'Do Not Call Register'.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received numerous complaints after the telco made calls to people on the register in 2008.

According to ACMA, an investigation found "inadequate compliance systems, procedures and supervision had contributed to calls being made to numbers on the Register where the consumers were not existing Telstra customers". Telstra admitted to the breaches and was fined $101,200.

"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," ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement. "The market leaders in the telco industry should consider themselves soundly on notice – size and complexity are no excuse for non-compliant practice."

Mr Chapman said Telstra has since paid the fine. "Telstra has paid the infringement notice, acknowledged that there is work to do, and is now setting about fixing these issues," Mr Chapman said.

The Do Not Call Register was launched in 2007 with 3.5 million phone numbers currently listed. ACMA said it had received 12057 complaints between May 2008 and May 2009, a drop from 2007 figures.

A Telstra spokesman apoligised for the company's behaviour. "Obviously, we are sorry that it happened, it shouldn't have happened and we have been working cooperatively with ACMA to put in a range of measures to stop it happening again," the spokesman said. "It was a combination of human error and a breakdown of our strict processes." [Strict processes?? That's a laugh!]


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