Telemarketers heed watchdog's call

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Telemarketers heed watchdog's call

Regulator jolts industry with $300,000 in fines.

Australia's communications watchdog recorded a 60 percent drop in complaints about calls to numbers on the Do Not Call register.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority recorded 12,057 complaints in the 12 months to May against 30060 in the register's premiere year last year. There are 3.5 million numbers are on the register.

Authority chairman Chris Chapman attributed the improvement to telemarketers taking notice of compliance obligations.

"This very sizeable drop in complaints indicates that the telemarketing industry is getting the message and changing behaviours," Chapman said.

But behavioural change has come at a cost for some. Over the past two years the watchdog collected $300,000 in fines from businesses that wrongly called people on the register.

The auhtority today released a compliance guide developed with the industry to help telemarketers stay within the law.

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