Indefinite registrations on Do Not Call Register a welcome change

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed the Federal Government’s move to make registration on the Do Not Call Register indefinite as a part of its deregulation agenda. This is a win for consumers who will no longer have to worry about reregistering their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register every eight years.

“With approximately 9 million registered numbers and on average 1 million added each year, ACCAN supports the move to allow for indefinite registration,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “The preference of the majority of Australians to not be contacted by telemarketers is evident in the high number of registrations.”

OAIC research found that only two per cent of survey respondents indicated that they enjoyed receiving unsolicited marketing information.

“Telemarketing calls tie up valuable resources and can occur at very inconvenient times, such as during the middle of dinner,” added Ms. Corbin. “Research from the ACMA indicated that over half of survey respondents have received an unsolicited telemarketing call from a business in the last six months. Eighteen per cent of the respondents had received calls on a daily basis and half had received them at least once a week.”

ACCAN is also glad to see the Government is factoring in the cost of regulation on consumers with economic modelling showing the Government’s plan is likely to save consumers $6.9 million because there won’t be a need to reregister, while the industry proposal to make consumers reregister regularly would have cost $8.63 million.

The current legislation requires consumers to reregister a phone number every eight years. There are costs involved in both informing consumers of the need to reregister and the time taken to reregister. ACMA research indicates that only 25 per cent of people are even aware of the need to reregister.

With reports that scammers are now targeting Australians in the guise of telemarketers, registering phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register will also help consumers distinguish between inconvenient telemarketing calls and those coming from scammers. Telstra recently launched a new campaign that will help consumers avoid telephone scams.