Dodo flies in face of Do Not Call register

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Dodo flies in face of Do Not Call register

Telco upstart Dodo has been fined $147,400 after an offshore call centre it used called numbers listed on the Do Not Call register.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued the infringement notice after investigating what it called ‘numerous’ customer complaints.

Dodo is one of the first and most high profile companies to be caught breaching the register - and the penalties could have been even higher had the matter progressed to Court, according to ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman.

“Dodo has cooperated with ACMA’s investigation, paid the specified penalty, and taken some very positive steps to amend its procedures,” said Chapman.

This enabled the company to avoid follow-on legal proceedings, Chapman said.

However, Chapman took the opportunity to issue a blunt warning to other telcos that use offshore contact centres to call local customers.

“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 Chapman.

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

ACMA said it received 23,336 complaints in 2007-8 that raised potential breaches of the DNCR Act and/or industry standard and were handled by the authority.

An additional 5,468 were handled by the register operator, the authority said.

Complaints are said to be largely driven by systemic non-compliance within a relatively small section of the industry, with five per cent of the businesses ACMA has received complaints about responsible for about 70 per cent of the total complaints received.

ACMA’s formal investigations are focusing on these businesses, Chapman added.

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