Dodo pays $147k for telemarketer fumble

More than 23,000 Do Not Call complaints logged last year.

The largest penalty in the history of the Do Not Call Register has been slapped on discount telco Dodo Australia after its offshore call centres rang de-listed Australian phone numbers.

The telco opted to pay the $147,400 fine, issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), rather than pursue the matter in court and face incurring a higher bill.

Dodo incurred the fine after it illegally called 67 telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register.

ACMA said the company must take responsibility for the actions of its call centres.

“If you are in business and hire offshore call centres to make telemarketing calls, you need to be extremely diligent in overseeing what they do,” said ACMA chair Chris Chapman in a statement.

“You can’t hide behind offshore call centres because ultimately the calls they make are your responsibility.”

“ACMA is committed to enforcing this legislation and will take formal action.”

The $17 million Do Not Call Register Act was set-up in May 2006 by the then communications minister Helen Coonan, which banned telemarketers from calling numbers listed on the register. Government agencies, recognised religious groups and charities are exempt from the law.

The ACMA received 23,336 complaints relating to breaches of the Act between 2007 and 2008 last year.

Chapman said businesses should outline and enforce contract agreements with contact centres, and audit call records to avoid breaches of the act.

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