Foxtel fined $25k for 'aggressive marketing practices'

By Georgia Tan | 13 December 2018

Foxtel has been found in breach of telemarketing laws and fined $25,200 for pushing subscriptions unethically.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation has found Foxtel continued to market its products and services during calls after consumers said they wanted to terminate the calls. 

Under current law, telemarketers are required to end a call immediately at customer request.

The ACMA also found Foxtel had not established adequate contractual arrangements with a call centre it employed.

“Consumers have the right to end a telemarketing call at any time during the call. It’s unacceptable for a call to continue once someone has indicated they want it to stop,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“The ACMA will act when aggressive marketing practices don’t meet acceptable standards.” 

Foxtel has been under pressure to turn around its declining subscriber revenues. The telemarketer drive was a bid to push subscription packages to new consumers.

Foxtel’s fine by the AMCA is part of its $343,200 clamp down this year on companies in violation of telemarketing laws. 

“Telemarketers are on notice to listen and respond appropriately to consumers and take their obligations seriously,” added O’Loughlin.

The telemarketing industry standard stipulates minimum requirements for all telemarketing calls, including authorised calling times, what information can be given and when calls must be ceased. 

Penalties for businesses that breach Australian telemarketing laws include formal warnings, infringement notices or Federal Court action.

In response to the ruling Foxtel issued a statement saying it would review its training processes to remind staff of its responsibility to avoid future breaches.

"Foxtel takes its legal obligations very seriously and has strict contractual agreements in place that we feel adequately address the requirements put forth by ACMA," a Foxtel spokesperson said.

"We also have a robust compliance and training framework for our staff to ensure they meet the telecoms standards. Unfortunately, a small number of instances occurred, which didn’t meet ACMA’s, or Foxtel’s, standards," the spokesperson said.

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