Ofcom gives phone marketers the silent treatment

UK communications regulator Ofcom has warned call centres to stop causing people unnecessary anxiety at home with ‘silent’ calls.

The regulatory body found that silent or abandoned calls made by call centres are causing significant anxiety and annoyance among recipients. The nuisance calls occur when automated calling systems, used for telemarketing and market research, generate more calls than the available call centre agents can deal with.

‘Excessive abandoned calls have become a real problem,’ said Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter, ‘We believe new fines and new rules, backed by firm enforcement action, are appropriate and necessary.’

Ofcom completed an investigation into seven companies in relation to silent calls today and has issued four notifications to companies with an unacceptable level of abandoned calls. The offenders have been ordered to reduce the rate of such calls to below three per cent and to provide a monthly report on their performance to the body.

The companies accused of misusing automated calling systems are Thomson Directories Ltd, Ant Marketing, Fax Information Services Ltd and Promote-IT Ltd.

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