In 2015, a spate of complaints about telemarketing calls relating to solar products and installation prompted the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to run a national information campaign directed at the retail solar industry. The ACMA worked with the Clean Energy Council and contacted more than 4,000 businesses to reiterate their legal obligations and the need to properly supervise any third party call centres.
Today the ACMA has issued formal warnings to two companies for their roles in making telemarketing calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.
Green Engineering (Vic) Pty Ltd, which supplies and installs solar panels was hit with a warning, along with RDBD Infotech Private Limited (known as Smart Connections), which made lead generation calls on Green Engineering’s behalf, operating as its call centre.
The warning reads:
As a result of its investigation into this matter, and taking into account complaints made to the ACMA, and information provided by GE VIC and its call centre, Smart Connections, the ACMA has determined that between 18 February 2015 and 29 April 2015:
GE VIC made, or caused to be made, one or more calls to Australian numbers registered on the Do Not Call Register; the relevant calls were voice calls and were for the purpose of offering to supply GE VIC’s solar photovoltaic systems (i.e. goods or services) for residential and commercial applications. As such, the relevant calls were each a ‘telemarketing call’ within the meaning of the DNCR Act; and the relevant calls were not designated telemarketing calls.
You can join the Do Not Call Register and opt out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls and marketing faxes by calling 1300 792 958 or visiting the website. Complaints can be made via the same channels.
Only private or domestic mobile or fixed line numbers, along with any fax number, can be added to the Do Not Call register. There are over 10.5 million numbers on the register, to which it is illegal for unsolicited telemarketing calls to be made.
Charities, market researchers, educational institutions and registered political parties are the only businesses exempt from the restrictions.
Continued complaints to the ACMA were what promoted the investigation into Green Engineering and Smart Connections.
"These companies have been formally warned, but the ACMA cautions the companies involved, and other members of the solar industry, that if complaints continue, further enforcement action will be considered," said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.