Australian call centres not bothered by Do Not Call Register

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Australian call centres not bothered by Do Not Call Register

While the Federal Government’s Do Not Call Register has celebrated its first year in operation with news it has amassed 2.3 million telephone numbers to its list, findings from Dimension Data reveal that it has had little effect on Australia’s largest contact centres.

The register, which was established in May 2007, makes it illegal for most kinds of telemarketing calls to be made to domestic and private fixed line and mobile telephone numbers listed on the register.

Dimension Data’s Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report 2008 surveyed 54 Australian contact centres and found that since its inception, the Do Not Call Register has had little or no impact on the amount of outbound calling volumes for call centres.

Participants for Dimension Data’s Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report 2008 were primarily representatives from some of Australia’s largest organisations including banking, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications and transport.

According to the report, 91.7 percent of respondents stated that the Do Not Call Register had either no impact or no change on volumes. A follow-up question: “What has the impact been on your campaign success rate?” elicited a similar response with 90.5 percent claiming that it has had no impact.

“Given that the Register received over one million registrations in the first month of operation, and is now sitting at well over two million, this is really heartening news. In the lead-up to the introduction of the Register last year, there was a lot of anxiety as to its potential negative impact on Australia’s contact centre industry,” said one of the authors of the report, Ian Dundas, principal consultant, customer interactive solutions, Dimension Data.

Dimension Data’s findings paint a different picture to a recent Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) commissioned survey which claimed the register was being well received by consumers.

According to ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, the watchdog sponsored survey found that 90 percent of respondents reported a drop in the number of telemarketing calls they received.

Chapman also said industry support had been positive.

“ACMA is committed to holding businesses accountable for the actions of call centres they engage to make calls on their behalf,” he said.

“Where a business or contracted call centre has illegally called numbers on the register, ACMA will take appropriate enforcement action.”

Chapman said ACMA had commenced 18 formal investigations in the last 12 months. Two have been finalised, both finding the businesses involved had not complied with the Do Not Call Register Act.

"This low number of investigations in one year shows the industry has done a great job in amending their business practices and doing it responsibly," he said.

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