Are telemarketers hounding your business? You're not alone

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Are telemarketers hounding your business? You're not alone

A new study has confirmed that many Australians receive unsolicited telemarketing calls every week.

It’s no secret that many Australians receive unsolicited telemarketing calls on a regular basis. But just how bad is the problem?

In fact, more than half of Australian adults who were surveyed about the problem said they received unsolicited telemarketing calls during a six-month period in 2018. That's according to a report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). 

The ACMA's survey found that 71 per cent of landline phone users and 54 percent of mobile phone users received unsolicited telemarketing calls during a six-month period.

Plenty of those people said they received telemarketing calls on a weekly basis. The survey found that 60 percent of landline users and 37 per cent of mobile phone users received unsolicited telemarketing calls at least weekly.

The telemarketers were often promoting solar power or other types of energy, insurance and banking services. 

One survey respondent from Melbourne commented: “I had one this morning for electricity. It’s constantly electricity with me, I probably get two or three a week.”

Unsurprisingly, four out of five people who received telemarketing calls said they didn’t believe they had an existing relationship with the telemarketer. Often, they were confused about how or if the telemarketer has gained their consent to make the calls.

The problem is continuing despite the ACMA issuing fines to some telemarketers for breaching rules. For example, it fined one company $286,600 this year for making telemarketing calls without consent.

Part of the problem is that a significant number of telemarketing calls are from scammers, not legitimate businesses. The ACMA is looking into whether it can use technology to block those calls.

It has also reminded Australians they can submit their phone number to the Do Not Call Register.

"The ACMA remains concerned about how these sectors deal with consumers, particularly how they obtain consent. We will continue to keep a close eye and take further action where warranted,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

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