ACMA Pounces On Lead Generation Company

Solar sales lead sourcing

Recent action by the ACMA against a Victorian lead generation firm also serves as a reminder to Australian solar businesses of the need to take care in sales lead sourcing.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) states a Melbourne-based company has paid an infringement notice for $285,600 after it was found the company was not checking all the numbers it was calling against the Do Not Call Register.

The ACMA manages the register, with its activities including responding to breaches of related legislation.

“Consumers are fed up with telemarketing calls that they haven’t agreed to receive,’ said ACMA acting Chair, Creina Chapman. ‘It’s unacceptable for a business that relies on telemarketing to have insufficient compliance processes in place.”

It’s not just lead generation companies that need to be careful.

‘It is also a timely reminder to any businesses that are buying ‘leads’ to make sure they comply with the law,’ stated Ms. Chapman.

While the company in question doesn’t appear to work within the solar industry, the ACMA has stated in the past it was taking a special interest in solar companies as this has been a problem area. However, there haven’t been further similar actions in relation to Australia’s solar energy sector since an incident we reported in March, which is encouraging.

Solar companies need to ensure they acquire solar sales leads from a reputable source. Not doing so can be an expensive exercise, with a single call to a number on the Do Not Call Register potentially resulting in an infringement notice penalty of thousands of dollars. Infringement notice penalties range up to $220,000 for each day on which infringements occurred and if it goes to court and the ACMA wins, a maximum penalty of $2.2 million for each day may be imposed.

Companies that buy leads from telemarketing firms that have gathered the leads from calls to consumers to gauge their interest in products and services such as solar power can be very risky if the telemarketer doesn’t check properly against the Do Not Call Register (or fails to do so).

Australians wanting to add their number to the Do Not Call Register, or to make a complaint about telemarketing, can visit www.donotcall.gov.au or call 1300 792 958. Using the web site to add a number is simple and quick to do.

As at 30 June 2016, 10.65 million numbers were on the register. During 2015–16, 1,022 telemarketers and fax marketers submitted more than 1 billion phone numbers for checking against the register; so it has been getting plenty of use.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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