Consumer complaints are very valuable to the ACMA. The ACMA uses the information provided to inform and target its compliance action, formal investigations and educational activities. The ACMA acts on complaints in accordance with its graduated compliance policy, outlined below.
How can I complain to the DNCR?
You can make a complaint if you believe you’ve received an unsolicited telemarketing call or fax:
- more than 30 days after placing your number on the Do Not Call Register (DNCR)
- that didn’t comply with the relevant industry standard.
You’ll need to know the date and approximate time of the call or fax you received. It’s also helpful if you know:
- the name of the person who made the call or sent the fax
- the name of the company or business on whose behalf the call or fax was made or sent (for example, the caller/sender may be employed by one company but make the call/fax on behalf of another company)
- the contact details (such as a website, or telephone or fax number) of the companies/businesses involved
- the call line identification number which is the incoming number that displays on your phone
- what the call or fax was about
You can make a complaint by:
Where your complaint is referred to the ACMA, a staff member will review the complaint to assess:
- whether the complaint raises a potential contravention of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and/or relevant industry standard
- whether the company or business that made the call or sent the fax can be identified.
Sometimes, you cannot identify who has called or faxed you. If this is the case, we’ll take reasonable steps to try to identify who has made the call or sent the fax. The more information you provide to us in your complaint, the more likely it is that we’ll be able to identify the caller or sender. In order to take compliance and enforcement action, the ACMA needs to be able to identify the business that made the call or sent the fax. We rely on information in complaints to assist us with this.
If we cannot identify the business, we add information from the complaint to our business intelligence database, which may help us to identify the business in the future.
If we can identify the business, The ACMA writes to businesses to:
- advise that a complaint has been received
- provide information about the DNCR and the Do Not Call Rules
- recommend the business review its practices and procedures to ensure compliance
The ACMA then monitors the business. Most complaints are resolved at this stage. The ACMA may commence an investigation if it continues to receive complaints about a business, or if it otherwise considers an investigation appropriate. In deciding whether to commence an investigation, the ACMA considers a range of factors including:
- the number and nature of complaints received
- any potential consumer harm
- whether the conduct appears to be ongoing and/or systemic
What contact can you expect to receive from the ACMA?
If a complaint is resolved at the informal stage the ACMA does not generally re-contact complainants. You will only be contacted if:
- we require further information
- we were able to identify the caller or sender when you were previously unaware of its identity—in which case we will let you know the identity of the business that contacted you.
If your complaint forms part of an ACMA investigation, the ACMA will write to you:
- at the commencement of the investigation, to notify you of the investigation
- at the end of the investigation, to notify you about the outcome of the investigation.
The ACMA may also contact you if it thinks that you can provide further evidence to support the investigation. Generally, however, the ACMA does not provide updates to complainants during the course of an investigation, which may take several months.
If you would like further information about the ACMA's telemarketing and fax marketing complaint handling practices, enforcement and penalties, or have any questions or concerns about the handling of a complaint you have made, you can register an enquiry at www.donotcall.gov.au
or by calling 1300 792 958.
Please note: This publication intentionally avoids the use of legal language and information about the law may have been summarised or expressed in general statements. The information in this publication should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional legal advice or reference to the actual legislation.