It’s Time To Call A Day On Nuisance Calls And Text Messaging
Instead of being a lifeline to the outside world, the telephone has become the engine of constant menace and torment, as phone owners are receiving up to 30 unsolicited marketing calls per day. The irony being, these unwelcome callers are ringing off private numbers, yet it appears that our own telephone numbers are not.
Back in March 2014, consumer champion and watchdog Which? successfully campaigned to get the Government to take action on nuisance calls and text messaging. The group urged for regulators to be given the ability to punish companies who are breaking the rules. Now, Which? has been asked to lead the task force that aims to tackle unwanted calls and texts.
The change in the law, which is to be implemented 6 April, will lower the burden of proof to require or charge cold callers of causing “substantial damage or substantial distress”, which in return will help quicken the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) process of punishing companies for their misconduct.
The recent surge in complaints was highly driven by rogue companies making PPI and Accident Claim calls. Now these companies could face fines of as much as £500,000 as part of the UK Government clampdown on nuisance calls.
Nuisance Calls Negatively Impacts Small Businesses
Further, cracking down on aggressive cold-calling will provide a significant boost for small businesses, as nuisance calls are a real problem for business owners as they waste time and therefore money.
David Joseph, board executive here at alldayPA says, “The number of cold-callers targeting businesses is out of control and has become a real drain on the time and resources especially for smaller companies and home businesses.”
“Studies show that 64 per cent of small businesses report nuisance calls as the biggest barrier to maximising productivity and 74 per cent said that calls negatively affected workers’ abilities to focus on their jobs. Data from the Information Commissioner’s Office shows that complaints about cold-calling rose by 41 per cent during 2014 and business owners need Government to step in and provide an effective solution.”
Existing Prevention Techniques Are Ineffective
Research conducted by Ofcom revealed that signing up to the Telephone Preference Service, the traditional way businesses were to remove themselves from cold calling, has largely been ineffective and has reduced unwanted calls by on average 35 per cent. In addition, many have expressed an increase in unwanted calls once placed on the TPS.
Instead, businesses have turned to call answering services as a way to screen unwanted calls and prevent the productivity of staff being affected.
David Joseph adds, “We are seeing an increasing number of business owners using our services so that they can prioritise important calls without being distracted. This is because alternative methods simply aren’t effective. Cold callers may simply ignore the telephone preference database, especially the increasing number of overseas callers who are using Skype as a way to make massive cold call campaigns cost effective.”
Keep Up The Pressure & Sign The Petition
Sign the Which Campaign petition and keep up the pressure on the Government to ensure nuisance calls and texts are better regulated by companies and don’t forget to spread the word by using hashtag #CALLINGTIME!