Queensland solar provider Green Sales given $50,400 penalty

Queensland based solar panel provider Green Sales Pty Ltd has accepted an infringement notice of $50,400 given by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for breaching telemarketing rules.

An ACMA investigation found that between October 2017 and March 2019 Green Sales made more than 340,000 calls without consent to numbers listed on Australia’s Do Not Call Register.

Green Sales also failed to terminate some calls after recipients had indicated they wanted them to stop and didn’t provide information at the start of the calls to identify who was calling.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said that unwanted solar telemarketing has been the subject of a significant number of complaints to the ACMA, especially from people with their numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register.

“In this case, Green Sales’ decision to stop checking the numbers it called against the Do Not Call Register led to a clear violation of the rules,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“Additionally, the business breached industry rules intended to protect consumers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, from overly aggressive sales tactics.”

The ACMA found Green Sales breached the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 as well as the minimum obligations for the conduct of sales calls set out in the Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017.

This is the latest enforcement action in the ACMA’s crackdown on telemarketing breaches by the solar industry. Recently released ACMA figures show complaints about unwanted solar marketing calls have halved since 2018 after a range of ACMA compliance and enforcement actions involving the sector.

Over the past 12 months, businesses have paid over $1,753,500 for ACMA-issued infringement notices for breaching spam and telemarketing laws. The ACMA has also accepted six court-enforceable undertakings and given seven formal warnings to businesses.

Enforcement action for breaches of Australia’s telemarketing laws can include formal warnings, infringement notices, action in the Federal Court and accepting court-enforceable undertakings. Repeat corporate offenders may face penalties of up to $2.22 million a day.

To add 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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