Consumers big winners as Do Not Call registrations made indefinite

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) would like to congratulate the Federal Government on its move to make registrations on the Do Not Call Register indefinite which passed through both Houses of Parliament yesterday. This is great for consumers who will no longer have to re-register their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register.

“With more than 10 million registered numbers on the Do Not Call Register, indefinite registration is a win for consumers,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “The high number of registrations reflects the preference of Australians not to be contacted by telemarketers.”

ACCAN has been calling for registrations on the Do Not Call Register to be indefinite for a number of years. This initiative faced stiff opposition from the telemarketing industry but the Federal Government has listened to consumers and has acted on it. Previous research from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) shows that only two per cent of Australians enjoy receiving unsolicited marketing information from companies.

“Unsolicited telemarketing calls are unwelcome for most Australians and often occur at inconvenient times, such as in the middle of dinner,” added Ms. Corbin. “The previous legislation required consumers to re-register a phone number every eight years. Removing this requirement will save on regulation costs and save consumers from having to re-register to avoid these annoying calls.”

“We encourage all consumers to sign up to the Do Not Call Register. It doesn’t take long to register all of your phone numbers and now you’ll only have to do it once,” added Ms. Corbin.

Economic modelling showed that making registrations indefinite is likely to save consumers $6.9 million per year because there won’t be a need to re-register. An industry proposal to make consumers re-register regularly would have cost $8.63 million per year. ACMA research also showed that only 25 per cent of Australians were even aware of the need to re-register. This change means that many Australians already registered will remain on the Do Not Call Register without having to worry about adding their numbers back on.

Registering phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register will also help consumers distinguish between inconvenient telemarketing calls and scammers who pose as telemarketers.