New rules crack down on cold calls
By Allan Williams | 02/04/15 | Telephone Systems
On Monday 6th April as part of a new government clampdown it will become much easier for the Information Complaints Office (ICO) to impose fines of up to £500,000 on companies making unsolicited calls.
Why the change?
The ICO receives tens of thousands of complaints each year on unsolicited calls, but only a handful of these result in a successful prosecution. When the new legislation comes into effect the ICO will focus on proving the call would have caused annoyance rather than ‘substantial damage or distress’. This means the ICO will be able to take action faster against companies for their misconduct, even after just one complaint.
How to comply?
If your business (including charity / voluntary organisations) makes direct sales or marketing calls you should ensure no calls are being made to any individual that has either previously told you that he / she does not want to receive such calls or has registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) register. The TPS is a free service for consumers enabling them to opt-out of receiving unsolicited calls.
Why isn’t TPS working?
OfCom the regulator for the telecoms industry admitted the TPS was failing to catch two thirds of all unsolicited calls and commissioned a survey which found 57% of those registered on the TPS were dissatisfied with the service.
TPS is simply a list of telephone numbers companies shouldn’t contact, it can’t physically block or bar calls. This means it is open to mistakes and abuse. In essence to be effective your business must first check the TPS list and then check you are blocking calls to registered users.
A better solution to handle TPS
Software is available to prevent your business from contacting TPS registered users and keeping you on the right side of the law. Sense TPS not only checks the telephone preference list, but the software also blocks all calls that are attempted to these numbers, giving you peace of mind.
How does Sense TPS work?
- Calls are blocked for all TPS numbers that are included or updated in the Sense TPS database
- All calls that try to contact TPS registered numbers are marked with red in the main Sense Grid followed by a comment: “TPS blacklist: Call blocked”
- An audio message will be played to the agent informing them that the current call is TPS registered and will not be connected
- In cases where you have active clients that are TPS registered, these need to be added separately to the ‘allow list’ to enable you to contact your client.