ACMA penalises financial services telemarketer $100,000 for unlawful calls

Information Support Australia Pty Ltd (trading as Super Information Team) has paid an infringement notice of $102,120 and will be subject to an independent review after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found it breached telemarketing rules.

An ACMA investigation into complaints about Super Information Team found it was responsible for 880 calls to phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register in October 2020. The calls were made by a third-party call centre and offered recipients a review of their superannuation and to connect them with a financial advisor.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said unlawful financial services marketing is an ACMA compliance priority given the potential for harm involved, especially at a time when many Australians have been experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID restrictions.

“Unwanted telemarketing causes frustration and anxiety, and the Do Not Call Register is your phone’s equivalent of a ‘No junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox,” Ms O’Loughlin said,

“Super Information Team did not have adequate compliance systems in place to prevent the calls being made to numbers on the Register by an outsourced provider. You can’t outsource your compliance obligations. If a third-party is working on your behalf, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the telemarketing rules.

“The size of this infringement notice sends a message to telemarketers that we will not hesitate to take action against those that break the rules.”

Super Information Team is also subject to a comprehensive enforceable undertaking which will see it implement the recommendations of an independent review of its compliance operations.

Ms O’Loughlin said the ACMA will be paying close attention to how Super Information Team meets its commitments under the undertaking to prevent future breaches.

Over the past 18 months businesses have paid $1,797,000 in infringement notices for breaking telemarketing and spam laws.

Enforcement action for breaches of Australia’s unsolicited communications laws can include formal warnings, infringement notices, court-enforceable undertakings and action in the Federal Court.

To place your number on the Do Not Call Register or to make a complaint about telemarketing go to donotcall.gov.au or call 1300 792 958.

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