The South Australian Liberal Party has apologised after robocalling household and mobile phones from 6am, waking up residents to ask them to rate the state’s performance.
State party director Sascha Meldrum said a “technical error” meant calls that were meant to go out on Tuesday afternoon instead were made early on Wednesday morning.
“I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or annoyance caused by these early morning survey calls to households,” Ms Meldrum said.
The call asked if “South Australia is generally heading in the right direction or do you think it is seriously heading in the wrong direction?”.
Liberal Premier Steven Marshall’s office said the survey calls were not from the government. He referred inquiries to the party’s director.
However, ABC Radio Adelaide listener Clare listened all the way through to the end of the message.
“It says ‘thank you for your time. This was put together by the Steven Marshall state government and thank you for your support’,” she said.
Treasurer Rob Lucas admitted the robocalls were a “blunder”.
“Without knowing, I suspect that someone’s backside is going to get a boot, as it should,” Mr Lucas said.
“I suspect someone has pressed the button for these … for 6am instead of 6pm.
“It shouldn’t have happened, no sensible person would be commissioning polling or robocalling at 6am in the morning.
“It’s only guaranteed to irritate people.”
‘We’re all a bit unhappy this morning’
Caller Linda said she was in a deep sleep when she got the call on her landline.
“I wasn’t too thrilled and I actually panicked a bit thinking, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened to someone?'” she said.
“You have no right of reply to say anything because it’s just a robot message, so on behalf of the South Australians enjoying their night sleep out there they can tell the Government or whoever that we’re all a bit unhappy this morning.”
John from Kersbrook was having a shower when he got a call on his home phone.
“Normally that indicates something bad is happening. It’s very rare that that rings,” he said.
“I picked it up and it was an automatic robot message.”
He “hung up in frustration”.
Transport Minister Stephan Knoll was among those to receive an early call.
“I got one at 6am as well,” Mr Knoll said.
“I was otherwise detained at that hour, and it went straight through to voicemail. I’m not sure who it is.
“As soon as I saw it was a robocall, I think I did what a lot of people do.
“I’m not even suggesting it was us in the first place, but I certainly understand why people would be frustrated.”
South Australian senator Simon Birmingham said robocalls were “part of modern technology and practice”.
“They’re used to get a better understanding of people’s views, opinions, and to gather information,” he said.