Thursday, 23 January 2020 11:07

Wyndham Destinations hit with $159.6k penalty for telemarketing breaches Featured

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A breach of Australia’s telemarketing rules has cost American vacation time-share market company Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific $159,600 in a fine imposed by Australia’s telecommunications regulator ACMA.

Wyndham Destinations has paid the fine following an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation into breaches of the telemarketing rules, and the issuing of an infringement notice to the company.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said an investigation found Wyndham Destinations was unable to demonstrate it had consent for calls made to numbers on the Do Not Call Register and failed to terminate calls after recipients indicated they did not wish to continue.

“It’s important for companies to make sure their telemarketing practices are up to scratch, and unfortunately on this occasion that wasn’t the case,” O’Loughlin said.

“The rules around this are clear. When someone states that they do not want a telemarketing call to continue, that call must be terminated.”

O’Loughlin said telemarketers must be aware of their responsibilities when making calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.

“The Do Not Call Register exists for a reason. The numbers on the register belong to people who do not want to receive these kinds of telemarketing calls.

“Businesses need to be able to demonstrate they have consent for calls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register or they are going to find themselves in trouble.”

Wyndham Destinations was found to have breached the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017 (Telemarketing Industry Standard) and the Do Not Call Register Act 2006.
Penalties for businesses in breach of Australia’s telemarketing rules include formal warnings, infringement notices or action in the Federal Court.

O’Loughlin said over the last 18 months, businesses have paid a total of $623,700 in infringement notices for breaking spam and telemarketing laws.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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