The calls were made between 6.15 am and 7.30 am on two consecutive weekdays in July this year, prompting a formal warning from the ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin that “Australians have a right not to be disturbed by these types of calls early in the morning”.
Prohibited calling times are set out in the Telemarketing Industry Standard, and apply to all telemarketing and research calls, including opinion polling – and mandating that research calls must not be made on weekdays before 9 am or after 8.30 pm (or after 5 pm on weekends).
“This follows a recent unrelated breach for calling during prohibited times by Lonergan Research. In both cases, automated diallers or platforms were involved,” said O’Loughlin.
O’Loughlin said that, in both cases, the entities publicly apologised and quickly took steps to fix the causes of calls being made outside the allowed hours.
And in a final warning O’Loughlin said, “If we see further evidence of research calls during prohibited calling times, we may look at compliance more broadly across the sector.” added Ms O’Loughlin.
The Telemarketing Industry Standard sets out minimum obligations for all telemarketing and research calls, including prohibited calling times, information that must be provided to consumers during calls, and when calls must be terminated.