Friday, 14 December 2018 00:57

Foxtel hit with $25k fine for telemarketing breaches Featured

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Broadcast giant Foxtel has been caught in a crackdown on compliance with telemarketing laws and fined $25,200 for breaching requirements for telemarketers to end a call immediately when asked.

The penalty was imposed after an investigation by Australia's Communications and Media Authority found that the company continued to sell its products and services within calls after consumers indicated they wanted to end the calls.

The ACMA also found Foxtel did not have adequate contractual arrangements in place with a call centre it used.

“Consumers have the right to end a telemarketing call at any time during the call. It’s unacceptable for a call to continue once someone has indicated they want it to stop,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

She warned that the ACMA would act “when aggressive marketing practices don’t meet acceptable standards”.

This year, the ACMA has cracked down on businesses breaking telemarketing laws, with a total of $343,200 levied in infringements.

“Telemarketers are on notice to listen and respond appropriately to consumers and take their obligations seriously,” O’Loughlin warned.

The Telemarketing Industry Standard sets out minimum obligations for all telemarketing calls that list permitted calling times, the information to be provided during calls and when calls must be terminated.

Penalties for businesses in breach of Australia’s telemarketing laws include formal warnings, infringement notices or action in the Federal Court.

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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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