By Martin Conboy, President – Australian BPO Association
This is a timely warning to our industry. It was bound to happen sooner or later as some companies ignored the warnings from the authorities. A Queensland-based telemarketer has been fined A$120,000 for making over 12 thousand calls to numbers registered with the Do Not Call Register (DNC), in the first court-imposed penalty under Australian anti-telemarketing legislation.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued infringement notices and formal warnings, however the case against the Gold Coast travel agency FHT Travel was the first civil penalty under the legislation.
To make an example the Federal Court in Queensland has come down very hard and issued an injunction preventing the firm’s owner, Yvonne Earnshaw, from making any unsolicited phone calls related to travel or hospitality without first notifying the communications watchdog.
Ms Earnshaw faces prison if she fails to pay the fine on time or breaches the court order, including paying ACMA’s costs.
One of the reasons that the ABPOA was set up was to keep bad operators out of the industry by asking members to adhere to a code of practice. Like all industries there will always be a small handful who ruin the industry’s reputation by unprofessional and rogue behavior.
It must also be understood that Australian companies who employ overseas telemarketing companies who break the rules will still be held responsible and accountable for the actions of their sub contractor.