We have all had those annoying cold calls, offering to solve our problems regarding PPI or accidents, your first reaction is to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to stop any unwanted marketing calls.
However they are not stopped completely there are always some that still come through from the cowboys. They flout the law, not bothering to get their dialer lists matched against the TPS file, there is no excuse for this as the costs are low and it can be done very quickly. Or alternatively they just don’t care and feel it is worth the risk.
When the calls don’t stop we start getting annoyed and wonder what the government is doing about it, at this point we turn to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), to find out what is happening. More than 175,000 complaints were made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) last year about nuisance calls and text messages. They have produced a comprehensive breakdown of their Nuisance Calls statistics. Their graphs below demonstrate the sales call concerns reported by month, automated calls by topic, and live calls by topic, respectively.
In the past the ICO had to prove that calls caused “substantial damage or substantial distress” before they took any action, which has proved to be a high hurdle to overcome. But from 6th April, that requirement is now removed. The ICO can also wave a big stick and can fine any offenders up to a maximum of £500,000.
This change will certainly make some of those inexcusable companies think again as the reducing of the burden of proof will make it easier to convict and hence levy heavy fines.
It is getting to the point that people don’t want to answer their own phone, according to Ed Vaizey, Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, six in ten people say they no longer wanted to answer their own phone.
All reputable marketers will welcome the change and hopefully these bad practices will stop and improve the image of direct marketing and people will no longer fear their own phone.
We look forward to seeing the impact of this change in legislation.
For more insight into how many numbers in your database are on the TPS file, try out this Data Quality Report.