Read IS 175 - Do Not Call Register - Faxes and nuisance calls text version

Do Not Call Register-- Faxes and nuisance calls

The Do Not Call Register (the register) provides Australians with the opportunity to opt out of receiving certain telemarketing calls. The register is operated by Service Stream Solutions Pty Ltd (register operator). Many consumers contact the register operator about facsimile (fax) related calls and nuisance calls. This information sheet provides information for consumers about fax and nuisance calls, particularly where those calls are not covered by the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (the Act) or the Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register) (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2007 (the industry standard). It is against the law for unsolicited telemarketing calls to be made to a number listed on the register unless consent has been given for the call or the call falls within an exemption under the Act or the Do Not Call Register Regulations 2006. Any business that calls a number on the register, or arranges for a call to be made to a number on the register, may be in breach of the legislation and face penalties. For more information about the definition of a telemarketing call and what is covered by the Act, please see the information sheet What is a telemarketing call?


Fax calls

The Act only applies to telemarketing calls. Fax calls are not included within the scope of the DNCR arrangements, and therefore complaints about fax calls cannot be investigated under the Act. Have I received a fax call? It is possible to receive fax calls even where you do not have a fax machine or a fax enabled number. To establish whether you have received a fax call, you should consider the content of the call. If you answer the call and the only content is a `beeping' sound, or series of beeps, this indicates you may have received a fax call. This beeping sound may mean that a fax machine is attempting to send a fax signal to your standard telephone number. Often there may be a series of calls within a short period of time, as the fax machine may continue in its attempt to send a fax to your telephone number. Why is a fax calling my number? You do not need to have a fax machine to receive fax calls. Businesses or individuals often load fax machines with many telephone numbers (both fax and standard telephone numbers). The machines may then be programmed to automatically send faxes to these numbers, regardless of whether or not they are fax enabled. In some instances, you may have been issued a telephone number which was previously a dedicated fax number. This may result in many fax calls being made to your telephone number, particularly if the number previously belonged to a business and was advertised publicly. If you have recently obtained a new number and noticed an increase in these types of calls, you should contact your service provider to discuss what steps can be taken to reduce these calls.

What is a telemarketing call?

The Act broadly defines a telemarketing call as a voice call made to a telephone number to: · offer, supply, provide, and/or advertise: · · · · goods or services land or an interest in land, or a business opportunity or investment opportunity; or

solicit donations.

The purpose of the call is assessed against the content of the call and the presentational aspects of the call. Under this definition, a telemarketing call has two key elements: · · it must be a voice call; and it must have a particular commercial-type purpose.

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There are certain steps you can take to identify why you may be receiving these fax calls. For example, you could search the internet to see if your number is listed anywhere as a fax or business number. If your number is listed in error as a fax number, you should contact the relevant business or individual and have the listing removed or corrected. Identifying the caller Many consumers find it difficult to identify the source of these types of calls. In some instances the calling line identification (CLI) may display a telephone number, however, when consumers call the number they cannot connect to an operator. In other cases, the number displayed as the CLI may not be capable of receiving return calls. In all cases where a CLI is displayed, you can try typing this number into an internet search engine and this may lead to the source of the call. If you are able to identify the caller, either through a relevant CLI or internet search, you should contact the business that made the call, explain to it that you have been receiving fax related calls to a standard telephone service and ask it to remove your number from its fax list. In some instances, the calls may be of an international origin and show as an `overseas' call on your CLI. If you are receiving many unwanted overseas calls, you can ask your service provider to block incoming international calls to your telephone number. Please note that your service provider may charge a fee for this service. If you are unable to identify the caller, you should keep a written record of the date and time of the calls, and the call content, including any sounds. If you have received a pattern of similar calls, you should contact your telephone service provider as outlined below and it may be able to assist in reducing these calls. Where you have reason to believe the calls may be telemarketing voice calls, and therefore covered by the Act, you can make a complaint to the register operator by calling 1300 792 958 or completing a complaint form at In some instances, the Australian Communications and Media Authority may be able to identify the source of the calls; however, this is not always possible.

provider has an obligation to assist you where the calls form a 'pattern of unwelcome calls' within the meaning of the industry code Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Calls. The code is available on the Communications Alliance website at:, or by calling 02 99599111. Your service provider has an obligation to assist. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from your service provider, you may wish to take the matter to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) by completing a complaint form at or by calling 1800 062 058.


CANBERRA Purple Building Benjamin Offices Chan Street

Expansion of the register

The Government has recently announced its intention to expand the Do Not Call Register, to cover both business numbers and fax numbers. When this is implemented, it may reduce these types of calls being made where people register their numbers.

Further information

Further information about the register can be found at

Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases. IS 175--September 2009

Nuisance calls

Consumers often report receiving unwanted and nuisance calls. Nuisance calls which do not relate to telemarketing are not covered by the Act. Nuisance calls are generally a pattern of unwanted calls, which could include calls with only beeping sounds, calls where there is no sound on the line (silent calls) and calls which terminate as soon as they are answered. If the content of the calls are abusive and/or threatening you should always consider contacting the police. If the unwanted nuisance calls continue, there are a number of steps you can take. Your telephone service

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IS 175 - Do Not Call Register - Faxes and nuisance calls

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