No more nuisance calls: how to prevent telemarketer calls

Are you sick of rushing to answer the phone, only to find out it is yet another telemarketing company attempting to sell you something? Here’s how you can prevent those nuisance calls.

The Do Not Call Register is run by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). If you put your phone or fax number on the register, telemarketers and fax marketers are required by law to stop contacting you.

Who can sign up?

Any number that is primarily used for personal purposes, any lines that are solely for sending and receiving faxes (either business or personal) and numbers that are exclusively used by a government body. This means you can put your home number, fax line or mobile number on the register.

Will this stop all telemarketing calls?

Unfortunately, no, but it will drastically reduce the number of calls you receive. Any business with which you have a prior relationship will still be able to call you. If you wish to stop receiving calls from such business, ask the person who calls you to remove your details from the business’s system.

Charities, political parties and educational institutions are also exempt, so that they can continue to provide services to the community.

Are international companies exempt?

No, the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 makes it illegal for any Australian or international telemarketer or fax marketer to contact a number listed on the register.

What is considered a telemarketing call?

Telemarketing includes, but is not limited to:

  • calls offering to sell goods or services
  • calls to sell tickets in a competition
  • calls requesting the recipient to attend an information seminar
  • calls offering to sell land or an interest in land, or a business or investment opportunity
  • customer satisfaction calls that have the intention to solicit sales
  • calls that offer free goods as part of, or in conjunction with, overall sales campaigns
  • calls for credit arrangements
  • calls offering anything for “free” that is conditional on expenditure
  • calls for the purpose of determining whether or not further telemarketing calls from the organisation are welcome
  • calls offering free use of a product for a set period with an option for financial subscription/purchase afterwards, and
  • calls to solicit donations.

Calls that are not considered telemarketing include:

  • product recall calls
  • fault rectification calls
  • appointment rescheduling calls
  • appointment reminder calls
  • calls relating to payments
  • solicited calls
  • calls not answered by the person to whom the call is made.

What if I get telemarketing calls after putting my number on the register?

If you continue to receive calls, you can make a complaint to ACMA. To make sure ACMA can take action on your complaint, be sure to get as much information about the telemarketing call as possible. Write down the time and date of the call, the phone number on which they called you, your phone service provider, and any details of the call – for example, the company name or product being sold.

More information

To put your number on the register, visit the ACMA Do Not Call Register website.

If you have already registered and are receiving calls, you can lodge a complaint via the Do Not Call Register Complaints centre. 

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?
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