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Tuesday, 13 October 2009 15:11

If you have a spam, telemarketing complaint, report it says ACMA

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Broadcasting and communications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), says that two in five Australians with mobile phones or an email account  - or 39 percent of the population – are unaware of who to contact to complain about spam email and SMS, and it is powerless to act to protect consumers’ rights unless it receives complaints.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said today a Newspoll survey commissioned by the authority also indicates that almost half the population, or 47 per cent, were also not sure where to direct complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls.
 
Chapman says the survey shows that while there is a strong level of awareness and understanding about spam and unwanted telemarketing calls, taking action by lodging a complaint isn’t as well understood.

“It’s actually very simple to lodge a complaint,” he said, adding that “for unsolicited telemarketing calls” consumers with a complaint should contact the Do Not Call Register on 1300 792 958 or log on to www.donotcall.gov.au and follow the links to Enquiries and Complaints.

And, for spam messages, he said consumers should contact ACMA’s Anti-Spam team on 1300 855 180 or log on to www.spam.acma.gov.au and follow the links to Lodge a Complaint.

‘If we don’t receive complaints, then the ACMA cannot protect consumers’ rights. Over the past two years, as a direct result of complaints the ACMA has uncovered significant breaches of the Spam Act 2003 and the Do Not Call Register Act 2006. Subsequent investigations have resulted in financial penalties, warnings, enforceable undertakings and even Federal Court action.”

Chapman also noted that May 2010 will mark the third anniversary of the launch of the Do Not Register, and that “from this time, entries on the register will begin to expire.” This is because numbers can only be on the register for three years and are then automatically removed if not renewed, but registrations can be renewed at any time simply by visiting www.donotcall.gov.au or by calling 1300 792 958.

According to Chapman, to date, more than 3.7 million Australians have registered their phone numbers and the ACMA has recorded a 60 per cent reduction in complaints received about the telemarketing industry.

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