I hope you have all enjoyed my posts about Western Australia over the last couple of weeks, but the holiday is now over. Time for a rant. Well, I haven’t had one of those for a while.
Cold calling in Australia
I’ll get to the telephone in a minute, but let’s start with doorknocking. In the 7 or so years I’ve lived here I’ve still only had precious few people knock on my door to try and sell me something. I still reckon I can count them on the fingers of both hands. Maybe even a hand and a half.
I’ve probably had two or three charities, a couple of solar panel installers and I think Telstra, our national telephone company, have called a couple of times as well.
I put the lack of doorknocking activity down to the fact that a lot of houses in Australia, and certainly where I live, are quite spaced apart and often have very long driveways. So it can actually take quite a long time to get from one doorway to the next.
In the UK, no such problems in the vast majority of streets…
Every time my home phone rings it’s either some stupid idiot pretending to work for Microsoft (yeah, sure) who is going to help me fix my computer. Or somebody asking if I have claimed my solar panel rebate yet?
Or it’s, or it’s, actually, I don’t know who else it might be because these days I NEVER EVER ANSWER MY LANDLINE.
Telemarketing is alive and well and, it seems, an extremely busy activity here in Australia as I’m sure it is wherever you live. Skimming Google I saw it mentioned somewhere that the average Australian receives 8.5 telemarketing calls a week, but that statistic came from back in 2008. It’s probably much worse now.
I don’t get that many, but I do get around three or four a week. I shouldn’t get any at all, because I am on the…
Do Not Call Register
Operated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) the register is this simple.
Tell them the type of telephone number you wish to register…
It is well worth registering your home phone, it will reduce the number of telemarketing calls you get. To register, visit donotcall.gov.au
Some callers are exempt from this though…
- registered charities
- educational institutions
- government bodies
- registered political parties
- independent members of parliament
- political candidates
Heavy fines apply
I knew there were some hefty fines for ignoring the Do Not Call Register, but I wanted to know exactly how much. As I searched for an answer, I came across one of those ‘you couldn’t write it‘ stories.
First though, the answer to my question appears to be that ACMA can impose a maximum fine of $170,000 per day, but if a company is a persistent offender and is then taken to Federal Court, that could go up to $1.7 million per day.
Now for that ‘you couldn’t write it‘ moment.
The second-biggest fine ever issued by ACMA was $110,000 to a company called Service Stream Solutions who provide call centre services to other organisations and agencies.
Guess what else they do?
They operate the Do Not Call Register on behalf of the ACMA.
No, you couldn’t write it. But if you do want to read the full story, you can over at smartcompany.com.au
In our house though, the landline is dead. If we didn’t need it to connect to the Internet, we wouldn’t have it at all. If somebody calls us and they really do have something important to say, they can always leave a message on the answerphone or, if they know us, they can do what everybody else does.
Call us on our mobiles.