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Fines For Cold Callers Using Withheld Numbers


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Cold callers hiding behind withheld numbers could be fined more than £2m in a new law to be announced today.

 

From 16 May, all direct marketing companies registered in the UK will need to display their phone numbers when making unsolicited calls, even if they have call centres overseas.

 

Companies can risk fines of up to £2 million from Ofcom and a further £500,000 from the ICO if they continue to bombard consumers with unwanted calls.

 

The move will make it easier for people to decide whether to answer their phone and to make formal complaints if they are harassed. It will also help the regulator - the Information Commissioner's Office - to investigate those who break the rules by continuing to make nuisance calls.

http://news.sky.com/story/1684141/fines-for-cold-callers-using-withheld-numbers

 

 

 

Report it

 

If you have received an unwanted sales call, please report it to the ICO. Although they cannot investigate all individual cases, reporting your concerns will help them take action in the future.

 

 

https://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing/report-telesales-calls/

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Cold callers hiding behind withheld numbers could be fined more than £2m in a new law to be announced today....

 

The problem ISN'T just cold callers. It's also a whole lot of public services who don't care or can't be arsed to sort out their call systems.

 

Mainly, I'm talking about the NHS - though there are others, including departments inside my local Council.

 

I'm just fed up with telling my GP and other medical professionals that if they phone me and my CLID indicates 'Withheld Number' I'm just NOT GOING TO BLOODY WELL PICK UP!!

 

Why the hell would I ever want to answer a dozen spam phone calls a day (which I currently ignore) just to find out if the odd call is from an NHS operative? Just NOT going to happen. Not exactly rocket science is it ??!!

 

I have to make it clear here that before my retirement I worked for almost 40 years in public service - and never EVER saw the SLIGHTEST need to conceal my phone number from members of the public I needed to phone.

 

If public services could just get their bone-idle act together, then withheld numbers wouldn't be a problem - all we'd have to do is just ignore them all.

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There are two major problems with the existing call "filtering" system:

 

1. Companies seem to buy blocks of telephone numbers. In the past week, I've received five calls from the same boiler installer but they used a different 0845 number each time. This makes it impossible to block the caller's number automatically and difficult to ignore the call if you're answering it yourself.

 

2. Companies have effectively circumvented the spirit of the entire TPS system by switching to pre-recorded announcements which are exempt from the TPS requirements.

 

Advising us to "If you have received an unwanted sales call, please report it to the ICO" is a non-starter. They won't even log the complaint unless you can prove you are being constantly harassed by the same company.

 

Since I retired, I can receive up to 5 unwanted calls a day so I've given this some thought!.

 

A MUCH more effective solution to unwanted marketing calls would be to remove the loophole which exempts companies from the requirements of the TPS register who use pre-recorded announcements. In other words ALL marketing/sales calls should subject to the requirements of the TPS regulations, not just those using a 'live' salesperson.

Edited by John_ONE
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What's really needed is a central register of all non-private numbers with a reverse lookup, then I can find out just who all those anonymous companies hiding behind ever shifting 0845 numbers etc really are. The best I've managed is to find the operator of a number block and complain to them directly. It's so simple to cut spam callers to next to nothing overnight, but I feel that OFCOM and the ICO are just too happy with the status quo, and dare I say it but their long winded investigations that require huge numbers of reports are nothing more than job creation for their own departments.

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I get spam texts from a local pizza shop - despite opting out of their 'system' many times. I am going to have a word with the local trading standards people about them after I've gone into the shop and complained to the staff there.

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2. Companies have effectively circumvented the spirit of the entire TPS system by switching to pre-recorded announcements which are exempt from the TPS requirements.

 

From http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/contactfaq.php:

 

Does registration with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) stop recorded message?

 

Telephone Preference Service (TPS) will help reduce receipt of live unsolicited direct marketing calls but will not stop pre- recorded calls.

Organisations that use recorded phone message to try and sell or promote their products or services have to comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. These say that marketers who leave recorded phone messages must obtain prior consent from the subscriber before they can make such a call.

Where a subscriber receives a recorded phone message they haven't agreed to there may have been a breach of the regulations. If you are receiving recorded messages and have not given prior permission and can identify the organisation leaving the message, you can complain directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who are the body responsible for enforcing the above regulation.

 

I also get the occasional prerecorded message. Damned annoying when they wake me up (often work night shifts). It is usually solar panels, but I've just started getting calls from a national oven cleaning outfit :-x

 

Numbers are withheld, so unless a live caller calls back, there is no way to identify the company.

 

 

I get spam texts from a local pizza shop - despite opting out of their 'system' many times. I am going to have a word with the local trading standards people about them after I've gone into the shop and complained to the staff there.

 

Don't take it on the front line staff. Always demand to speak to the manager and chew his ear off. Doing it in public will cause him embarrassment and may prompt other customers to follow suit.

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What's really needed is a central register of all non-private numbers with a reverse lookup, then I can find out just who all those anonymous companies hiding behind ever shifting 0845 numbers etc really are. The best I've managed is to find the operator of a number block and complain to them directly. It's so simple to cut spam callers to next to nothing overnight, but I feel that OFCOM and the ICO are just too happy with the status quo, and dare I say it but their long winded investigations that require huge numbers of reports are nothing more than job creation for their own departments.

 

I agree 100%. Why on earth companies were allowed the loophole of not being required to consult the TPS register if they use a pre-recorded announcement is almost beyond me. I say "almost" because, of course, the TPS is financed by the telemarketing companies themselves so perhaps there's a conflict of interests there.

 

The ICO - or certainly the department responsible for this - always respond with a rubber-stamp email which gives the impression that they don't want complainers rocking the boat and upsetting their cushy little number.

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Cold callers hiding behind withheld numbers could be fined more than £2m in a new law to be announced today.

 

From 16 May, all direct marketing companies registered in the UK will need to display their phone numbers when making unsolicited calls, even if they have call centres overseas.

 

Well that's just brilliant NOT !

 

We never get anonymous calls as they're blocked - so now I'm forced into having calls I don't want !

 

A clear victory for the cold-callers :((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

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Well here is how I would call you just so you all know. I get a skype account with dial out but no dial in, I get a number from say Malaysia, or anywhere else that suits my fancy and change it regularly, then have call europe for the dial out. Hey presto I can call you from my UK call centre and you and the telephone system have my number and the fine.. oh yes how the "^%$&*)_)(&% are they going to send a fine to there. They are not! I keep on cold calling, you keep on moaning, and the number is not blocked! luvverly wot!

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