Do-Not-Contact List and NFPs
24 November 2005 at 12:11 pm
As the Victorian and NSW Governments put their support behind a national ‘Do-Not-Contact’ list aimed at stopping unwanted telemarketing, where does this leave the Not for Profit sector?
The Victorian and NSW State Governments have set up a polling hotline for people to record their support for a national ‘Do-Not-Contact’ telemarketing register.
The Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marsha Thomson, and the NSW Minister for Fair Trading, Diane Beamer, say that an effective national ‘Do-Not-Contact’ register would allow Australian consumers to opt out of receiving unwanted telemarketing calls.
But both governments say the register should target companies using the telephone for high-pressure sales while at the same time safeguard the interests of genuine Not for Profit organisations.
The two-state hotline poll, they say, is aimed at families who are sick and tired of being hassled by telemarketers to voice their frustrations.
The Federal Government renewed its commitment to establish a national ‘Do-Not-Contact’ register back in October.
The Victorian and NSW Governments are in the process of what they describe as ‘harmonising’ the telemarketing provisions of their Fair Trading Acts to try to make sure state legislation does not contradict each other.
It’s expected that the Australian register could be modelled on the successful United States register, which has more than 88 million people listed.
Telemarketers in the US face significant fines if they contact these people.
In the meantime a former Australian charity worker Ian Hooke has launched a new private company, Do Not Contact Register of Australia, which he hopes will end nuisance phone calls that interrupt family meal times.
Consumers will pay $10 a year to list their home telephone number on the new register and an extra $10 for each other phone number such as a mobile or work number.
The Australian Direct Marketing Association, (ADMA) also runs a Do-Not-Contact register.
ADMA says it welcomed any scheme that operated nationally.
Unsolicited telephone calls are said to be on the top of the list of those complaining to the Privacy Commissioner and state departments of fair-trading. But unlike the US, Britain and Canada, Australia does not have a legally enforceable Do-Not-Contact register.