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What is the Do Not Call Register?

We have all had those annoying phone calls when we have just sat down to dinner with the family right? We would like to speak to you about a great deal on your telephone line. As a telecommunications company, we very much encourage and are supporting the protection of consumer privacy because it tarnishes the industry and had taken power away from the end user.

The Do Not Call Register was passed through parliament in June 2006 and released for access in 2007. It was of course established to stop the nuisance calls to your phone number and covers telemarketing calls and fax spamming to business numbers. Fax spamming has become more and more popular and many businesses were not aware that your fax line can also be registered to stop this.

You can lodge your number with the register if it;

- is used "primarily for domestic purposes", or
- is "exclusively" to send and receive faxes, or
- is owned by a government body, or
- is an emergency services phone number.

Once you have registered, the onus is then purely on the telemarketers and fax spammers to cease using your phone number within a 30 day period. IF they don't, they are likely to be fined a large sum of money. Interestingly enough, the company that was chosen to administer the register, Service Stream Solutions Pty Ltd, was actually found to have breached the register themselves recently! They were fined in excess of $100,000 after multiple complaints were made to the governing body, the ACMA. So, it shows they are serious about this, although, maybe the logistics of keeping a current list is a little in question. Read more about this action taken: Company Fined For Calling Excluded Number.

There are exclusions and this has caused some heated arguments in many circles. The register does not stop calls from charities seeking money for donations or from marketing surveys and political surveys. It has diluted the effect of the register but ACMA's reply to this is that these types of calls are governed by the relevant telemarketing industry standards. I guess in some way though, it doesn't stop the call from happening but rather how the call can proceed.

How To Register A Number

It is very easy to lodge a number on to the register - and this includes mobile and fixed lines. Once you have registered a number, it remains on the register for six years. You may need to renew the registration but there is word that this process may be flipped so that it remains indefinitely until you choose to remove it. And on that point, you can remove a number at any time.

So if you want to register a number, you can do so by;

- completing an online application at the Do Not Call Register Website.
- posting a paper document to the ACMA,
- calling ACMA on 1300 792 958
- faxing the paper document.

You can also provide consent to a third party who can lodge the registration on your behalf, but it is such an easy process online that most are simply completing the entry themselves.

That is a brief run down of the elements of the register and how you can lodge your phone line to stop the invasion of your privacy. The ACMA and official Do Not Call Register websites have more detailed information also which is reviewing.

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